The outcome of the election for a seat on the Neptune City Council changed as a result of the recount that took place this morning at the Board of Elections office in Freehold.
Democratic candidate Michael Skudera (not the same Michael Skudera who is the former mayor of Tinton Falls) gained three votes in the hand count of Vote-By-Mail and provisional ballots and now leads incumbent Republican Councilman Richard Pryor by one vote, 602-601. Pryor picked up one vote in the recount.
Hand recounts of Vote-By-Mail and provisional ballots often result in additional votes being counted. The votes are first counted electronically via scanner. During a hand recount, elections commissioners are able to determine the intent of a voter who may have not completely filled in the box on the ballot sufficiently to be read by the scanner.
Pryor can either accept the result or contest the election within 10 days. During a contest, which is supervised by a Judge, Vote-By-Mail and provisional ballots that have been voided could be reconsidered. Similarly, VBM and provisional ballots that were accepted by the board could be challenged.
There was one VBM ballot voided and two provisional ballots voided in the Neptune City election, according to Special Deputy Clerk of Elections Bertha Sumick.
Mitchell Jacobs, Esq. of Cleary, Giacobbe, Alifieri, Jacobs, represented Pryor at the recount. Jacobs told MMM that the decision regarding a contest has not yet been made.