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In re Contest of the General Election of May 9

September 26, 2007

IN THE MATTER OF THE CONTEST OF THE GENERAL ELECTION OF MAY 9, 2006 FOR THE OFFICE OF MAYOR AND COUNCIL


On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Mercer County, L-1689-06.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted September 17, 2007

Before Judges S.L. Reisner and Gilroy.

Tony Mack lost the 2006 Trenton mayoral election by about 3700 votes. He appeals from a trial court decision rejecting his challenge to the election results.*fn1 We affirm.

I.

Following a re-check and recount of the votes, Douglas Palmer was declared the winner of the Trenton mayoral election with 6435 votes out of a total of 12,217 votes cast for mayor.

Plaintiff Tony Mack received 2761 votes.

To avoid a run-off election, Palmer needed a majority of the votes cast plus one, or a total of 6110 votes. He received 325 votes more than the minimum needed. Of the votes cast for Palmer, 246 were cast by absentee ballot, an insufficient number to affect the outcome of the election even if they were all invalidated.

Mack filed a verified complaint contesting the election results, alleging improper use of messengers to deliver absentee ballots, illegal assistance with absentee ballots, missing provisional ballots, mishandling of provisional ballots, problems with voting machines, and other improprieties including fraud, misconduct and corruption.

After a nine-day bench trial, Judge Linda Feinberg issued a 103-page written opinion rejecting Mack's challenge to the election. Her opinion included detailed factual findings and credibility determinations based on the testimony of thirty-five witnesses. While she found that a few votes should be invalidated for irregularities, "the number is insufficient to require a run-off election." She concluded that "there is no evidence of fraud and no evidence to establish the illegal votes would have altered the results of this election." Consequently, she determined that the challenge should be dismissed.

II.

On this appeal, Mack submits the following points for ...


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