Crescent City Connection Toll votes are re-counted - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Crescent City Connection Toll votes are re-counted

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New Orleans, LA -- It took three hours to re-count the controversial Crescent City Connection toll votes.

It's the moment motorists in three parishes have been waiting for, a "partial" re-count of the November 6, 2012 vote of the Crescent City Connection bridge tolls.

The re-count took place behind closed doors as the media stood outside, locked out following a judge's order.

"It's completely under seal, which means nobody knows the numbers that are being counted right now, all we're here to do is observe," says Gretna Attorney, Patrick Hand.

Inside New Orleans City Hall, a small group counted 3,650 of the absentee mail-in and early ballots from Orleans Parish.

Last year after voters in Orleans, Jefferson and Plaquemines parishes went to the polls, the referendum passed extending the tolls another 20 years, by just 18 votes.

Hand, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of the group "Stop the Tolls" says the mail-in votes and early votes were counted so late in the day back in November, that there is room for error.

"We're not alleging that anybody did anything on purpose. We don't think this was intentional, but human error can occur and when you have an 18 vote differential, you have to have a recount for voter integrity, the integrity of this election," says Hand.

Three months later, voters are picking sides.

"The toll is not that bad of a deal," says Develle Williams of Gretna.

"Its continuation now seems to become more of an agitation for most that's the reason why it was such a close count. I'm glad it's being recounted," says West Bank Resident, Lionel Jones.

One voter says if the re-count comes back with a reversal, it may impact those who work at the toll bridge.

Hand says if the recount comes back with even one vote of differential, there's a strong argument for nullification.

"They're going to collect half a billion dollars in tolls over the next 20 years, primarily from West Bank residents. We think our argument for nullification is strong we believe in that part of our lawsuit, so if we lose today, this is not the end this is just the beginning," says Hand.

Hand says Judge William Movant from the 19th Judicial District in Baton Rouge is expected to give a ruling on the re-count by Tuesday.

 

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