The 112-vote margin that put Kristin Gisleson Palmer back in her old District C seat on the New Orleans City Council has sparked a rare recount of the ballots, or at least a small fraction of them.
Orleans Parish Clerk of Criminal District Court Arthur Morrell, who oversees the city's elections, said Tuesday that Nadine Ramsey, the District C incumbent, had requested the recount, which will be held in the City Council chamber on Thursday.
In a recount, only paper ballots — primarily those used for absentee voting — are up for review, since the electronic voting machines used on election day automatically tally their results, Morrell said. There were about 300 paper ballots submitted in the District C race.
Ramsey requested the recount on Monday, said Kevin Stuart, a spokesman for her campaign. "It’s a common-sense measure when an election is that close," Stuart said.
Andrea Dubé, campaign manager for the Committee to Elect Kristin Gisleson Palmer, said in a statement, "We are confident in the results of Saturday night, and confident that a recount will only serve to reconfirm what we already know — that the voters of District C are ready for a change in leadership."
Dubé added, "Nadine Ramsey may not like the results, but the people’s voice was heard loud and clear."
Palmer, who held the District C seat for four years before opting not to run for re-election in 2014, beat Ramsey by about 0.8 percent of the 13,810 votes cast.
Her narrow victory followed one of the most contentious of this year's council races, fueled by attack ads.
Palmer said Ramsey was ignoring her constituents' wishes and allowing online rental platforms like Airbnb to damage some neighborhoods.
Ramsey accused Palmer of having quit on the district, given her decision to leave the council after her last term.