JP military ballots counted and CCC toll renewal still leads by 8 votes

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wwltv.com

Posted on November 9, 2012 at 1:43 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 9 at 5:15 PM

WWLTV.com
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NEW ORLEANS - Only about three dozen ballots remained to be counted to determine whether or not tolls would continue on the Crescent City Connection Bridge after Dec. 31.

Four more ballots were counted Friday and the totals still favored renewal by eight votes. Jefferson Parish's Registrar of Voters, Dennis DiMarco said four overseas military ballots were counted and they were equally divided 2-2.

With over 300,000 votes cast, the renewal and repeal sides remain eight votes apart.

Orleans Parish will count the final 30 military ballots on Tuesday.

Also on Friday, the voting machines in New Orleans were opened Friday so that Orleans Parish election officials could verify the election results. 

From around 9 a.m. to noon, the clerk of court's team checked the results of 750 machines that were used in 366 precincts.

With only eight votes favoring the renewal of the CCC tolls, this verification process had the chance of changing the outcome. There were 300,000 ballots cast.

However, no discrepancies were found in any of the vote tallies, which was expected due to the fact that machines are computerized.

The CCC vote may come down to counting the last mail-in ballots that came in on Wednesday (because of the delays caused by Hurricane Sandy.)

There are about 30 mail-in ballots in Orleans Parish and two in Jefferson Parish.

The official count will happen Tuesday, which had some Eyewitness News viewers questioning the legality of waiting a week.

"Because we have a federal holiday in between, which is Veteran's Day, it's extended a day. So, we have a federal holiday on Monday," said Jay Batt, head of the Orleans Board of Election Supervisors. The secretary of state said it was legal due to the holiday.

The ballots of military and overseas citizens will be counted on Tuesday at 11 a.m. at New Orleans City Hall.

If the ballot stands, those for the renewal said they will work with opponents, specifically Rep. Pat Connick, to come up with legislation that will provide an accountability system for how the toll funds are collected and spent.

If the ballot is reversed, those for the renewal said they will work to find funding to keep the bridge in good shape.

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