NEW ORLEANS - Tuesday morning marks a critical climax in the race for the Orleans Parish City Council at large seat. The voting machines will be opened and the results will be verified.
What can often be a lackluster affair took on special significance when Stacy Head won by less than 300 votes in the unofficial tally Saturday night, and Cynthia Willard-Lewis refused to concede.
The Orleans Parish voting machines are stored at 8870 Chef Menteur Hwy. They have been locked up there since the election wrapped up Saturday night.
That election caused jaws to drop in political circles, as Head won by just 281 votes out of the 55,000 that were cast.
As Head celebrated the victory, opponent Willard-Lewis refused to concede, saying the margin of victory amounts to less than one vote per precinct in the city.
Willard-Lewis said she wants to see what the official count shows when the machines are opened.
"Particularly in the early voting process that had us ahead 60 to 40 percent, so again we want to crunch those numbers. The margin of differential is so tight, we want to make sure that it is correct and accurate," Willard-Lewis said.
"We expected it to be very close, but we're very excited that it came out the way that it did," Head said.
The machines will be opened and the official count tallied beginning at 9 a.m. Clerk of Court Arthur Morrell is in charge of the process.
"The machines are pretty accurate. Nothing is 100 percent positive or for sure. But, these machines are tested," Morrell said. "If there's a mistake, it's a human mistake, not a machine mistake."
Morrell said he does not expect to see any major changes.