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Losing North Miami Candidates Recount Votes

NORTH MIAMI (CBS4) - In a return to primitive election tabulation, North Miami candidates painstakingly hand counted almost 7,000 ballots Monday.

Doctor Joseph Smith, who came in third place for the mayoral vote, paid almost $500 fee to see every vote.

When CBS4's David Sutta commented to Smith about reverting to this old school way of counting votes, he responded, "Correct. And the old school is usually the right way."

While some could argue this is a case of a candidate being a sore loser, Dr. Smith and fellow North Miami mayoral opponent Jean Marcellus said it's actually a conspiracy.

"The math does not match," said Marcellus.

Marcellus believes that 746 absentee ballots disappeared between early voting and election day.

"I'm in this fight as a matter of principal.  Until we find exactly where this discrepancy comes from we won't stop," Marcellus said.

The elections office has maintained that it was simply an error on behalf of the clerk. A disc handed that was handed to campaigns was apparently mislabeled. According to the elections department, all the votes have been accounted for.

When CBS4's Sutta asked Smith if he thinks he will have any resolution from today's recount, Smith answered, "We may not but we want to make a statement.  We want to make sure that what they say is what it is.  And we have a strong suspicion that what they say is not what it is."

While the manual recount of the 6,983 votes is par for the North Miami election, the campaign, too, was less than ordinary.

The city's elections brought us Anna Pierre, a voodoo cursed mayoral candidate, endorsed by Jesus; another candidate who handed out bars of soap to "clean up city hall;" and Jean Marcellus, who was punched in the face because a voter didn't like him.

Last Friday, some of the city's voters were fired up, protesting against the results.

Whether or not this manual recount will finally bring this election to an end remains in question. Either way, there is still a run-off election between the top two candidates in several races set to be held on June 4th.

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