BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ -- A paid press release from Republican political consultant Harrison Neeley broke the news that an attorney representing Berkeley Heights Township Councilwoman Susan Poage, a Democrat, filed papers asking for a recount of the election for Township Council.
The announcement included the charge that the recount “although fully within Poage’s legal discretion, will cost Union County taxpayers.”
In fact, there will be a cost for the recount, but it will be paid by the campaign, as will the fees for the lawyer to file the request for a recount, said Poage on Monday afternoon.
Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi said the cost for the recount is “$25 per district for a hand count of the ballots.” Berkeley Heights has 11 voting districts, so the recount will cost $275.
As for when it will be done, “It depends upon when the Board of Elections and I can do it,” she said, adding there are “possible dates in December … and we may know by Wednesday.” What is important is that the “recount be done within a reasonable time frame,” she said.
Rajoppi said she will be involved in the recount in her capacity as the “clerk to the Board of Canvassers. The Election Commissioners make up the balance of the board.”
In the race for Township Council, Republican Councilwoman Jeanne Kingsley was the top vote-getter with 4,160 votes, her running mate Jeffrey Varnerin received 4,050 votes. Democrat Councilwoman Susan Poage received 3,940 votes and her running mate Bret Sayre received 3,751 votes. There is a difference of 110 votes between Poage and Varnerin.
In a Letter to the Editor Poage said she expected the recount would “put my mind at rest knowing that the results were 100 percent accurate. I am simply asking that all the votes cast in this historic election are accurately counted.” Read the entire letter here .