Judge Mendez Will Order a Recount of Atlantic County Freeholder
New Jersey Superior Court assignment Judge Julio Mendez will be ordering a recount in the razor thin race for Atlantic County Freeholder at large.
However, Mendez has not yet ruled on what the recount will look like. He did say that he is inclined not to order a complete hand recount.
Incumbent Freeholder Caren Fitzpatrick appears to be safe with 67,600 votes.
The contest for the second spot is very close. Incumbent Freeholder John Risley has 66,427 votes to Celeste Fernandez.
The margin is only 381 votes out of 132,473 total votes cast.
Mendez has called for another hearing on the matter for this Monday, December 7, 2020.
The Atlantic County board of elections has confirmed that a total recount will take two weeks to conduct and cost at least $90,000.
Additionally, the county would have to continue to rent the warehouse space required to stage and count such a massive amount of election ballots.
The margin of difference between Risley and Fernandez is a mere fraction of 1%.
It has always been my belief, that elections should bring closure, finality and certainty.
It is my considered opinion, that for an election contest that is this close, there should be a full hand recount of all 132,000- plus ballots.
While I realize that Judge Mendez has intimated that he will not order a full recount, how else will the public ever really know who actually won and have confidence in the result?