Council District B candidate calls for election recount

Jay Banks' opponent Seth Bloom says he feels the count is too close to concede.

NEW ORLEANS-  Jay Banks continued giving credit to others, especially the voters, hours after becoming District B's Councilman-Elect by a razor-thin margin.

"I would have been happy with one, so at the end of the day 131 gives me a big enough cushion," said Banks. "It would have been great if it had been 90 to 10, but it doesn't matter. We won and we're looking forward to working with everybody."

But Banks' opponent Seth Bloom says he feels the count is too close to concede.

"We just think with 131 votes separating, with almost 16,000 (votes), it would be an injustice to my supporters, not to at least take a look," said Bloom.

Betsy Stoner, the executive director of the Orleans Parish Board of Election Supervisors says, first, Bloom would have to formally request a recount by end of business Wednesday. Then "there has to be a certainty, or the possibility of a candidate winning that race," she said. "So perhaps a 200 or a 100 vote difference could actually turn an election, but in this case, who knows."

In order for the winner of this election to change, half of the 131 vote difference, plus one, would have to flip. That's 67 votes.  The last time the board held a recount, only one vote changed.  And because results from the voting machines will already be checked Tuesday as a part of standard election procedure, the only thing eligible for recount is paper ballots.  

Stoner says, city-wide, around 80 paper ballots were rejected due to submission errors like a missing signature or lack of a witness sign-off. Notifications to those voters were sent out Sunday.

Bloom has cited reports of voter irregularities in reference to paper ballots as another reason for his call for a recount.  However, "if it turns out that Jay Banks is the winner, then I'm going to fully support him," he said.

Banks says he is ready to make bloom, and all of District B, proud.

"I am very honored that they vested their faith in me and I promise I'm not going to disappoint them," said Banks.

If a recount happens, it will be held Monday, November 27th, at 10 a.m, and is open to the public.

 If the recount still results in a Banks win, but Bloom wants to contest that, he will have 24 hours to file a lawsuit in Civil District Court.  Otherwise, election results become official ten days after Election Day.
 

© 2017 WWL-TV


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