Nov 232017

Seth Bloom speaks during a candidates’ forum in Mid-City in October. (
file photo by Sabree Hill)

Seth Bloom has requested a recount of the absentee ballots in the runoff election for the open District B seat on the New Orleans City Council, his campaign said.

Jay Banks defeated Bloom by 131 votes out of 15,901 cast in Saturday’s election, according to the results reported by the Louisiana Secretary of State’s office. Bloom said on election night, however, that with a margin that close, he wanted the opportunity to inspect the count himself before conceding.

That process began Tuesday morning, when Orleans election officials opened the voting machines for the routine verification of the tallies they reported, and both the Bloom and Banks campaign received paper copies of the tally from each machine for their own inspection. Bloom’s campaign manager, Gary Solomon, said they also planned to inspect the signatures from each polling place to ensure that the same number of people voted as votes were recorded, and to double check the logs to ensure all polling places were closed at 8 p.m. as required.

The vote tally was not expected to change following the inspection of the voting machines, election officials said at the time, but they could change somewhat during a recount of absentee ballots. Last month, for example, a recount of absentee ballots in the similarly-close District C race added a vote to Nadine Ramsey’s column, though it did not reverse her loss to Kristin Gisleson Palmer.

Bloom had specifically mentioned on election night that he was concerned about absentee ballots that were disqualified, and on Wednesday, his campaign manager confirmed that they had formally requested the recount.

The recount will be held at 10 a.m. Monday in the City Council chambers, according to clerk of court Arthur Morrell’s office.

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