AMITE — Defeated Tangipahoa Parish President candidate Carlos Notariano has asked officials to retally absentee votes from Saturday’s election, officials confirmed.
In a letter delivered Thursday to the Tangipahoa Parish clerk of court, attorney John I. Feduccia, working on behalf of Notariano, requested Clerk of Court Julian Dufreche to conduct the recount.
By law, the recount must start Thursday at 10 a.m., Dufreche said.
Notariano lost the election to incumbent Gordon Burgess by 686 votes out of nearly 28,000 cast, according to complete but unofficial results from the secretary of state’s website.
There were 6,081 early votes, according to the secretary of state’s website.
The letter says the Tangipahoa Parish Summary Report shows an absentee turnout of 12,004 votes.
“That is nearly double of the absentee results of 6,081 which was recorded for the Tangipahoa Parish President’s Election,” the letter reads.
The recount will be handled by the registrar of voters because the votes being recounted were early votes, Dufreche said.
Workers would not be counting all 6,000 votes, said John Russell, the parish’s registrar of voters.
Only 481 of the votes are eligible to be recounted because those were the ones that were mailed, he said.
The rest were done on voting machines, he said.
Recounting those would mean the machines would just print the same report they printed Saturday night, he said.
“The request to recount machine ballots is not proper, is not supported by law,” Russell said. “I checked with the attorney general; he said we don’t have to do that.”
Instead, two teams will count the disputed 481 paper ballots, he said.
The teams will be overseen by commissioners for the Board of Elections and observers from both campaigns, he said.
Burgess refused to comment, but did confirm that someone from his campaign would be on hand to observe the recount.
Notariano could not be reached for comment.