The city’s Election Commission met Friday morning to discuss continued issues stemming from a misprint on 392 absentee ballots, and to test tabulation equipment for Wards 2 and 3. This is the third meeting the Commission has held on the issue, which began when it was discovered June 27 that Ward 3 City Council candidate Bob Dascola had been left off the first wave of absentee ballots issued by the city. The state’s Bureau of Elections initially instructed the city to not count Ward 3 votes on the original, incorrect ballot but reversed its position over the next few days, instead instructing the city to count Ward 3 votes on the incorrect ballots over concerns of voter disenfranchisement, which prompted Dascola to file a motion against the city on July 7.
In a decision handed down Tuesday, the court barred the city from counting Ward 3 votes on the incorrect ballots and required both the city and the state, who were granted a motion to intervene in the case, to file plans with them on how they planned to ensure votes from the incorrect ballots wouldn’t be counted by Friday.
Because this is the second time Dascola has appeared in federal court over the election — in March, he successfully sued the city to get on the ballot after a dispute over residency requirements — the judge also ordered the city to explain why the court shouldn’t hold it in contempt for the error in leaving Dascola off the ballot, given his previous ruling that Dascola was eligible to be on it.