About 1,200 Democratic ballots have been incorrectly read by a scanning machine, the Atlantic County Board of Elections reported Thursday afternoon, and were expected to be recounted by Friday morning.
The problem is not likely to affect results in a primary election in which an estimated 45,000 ballots have been received and about 28,000 have been counted as of 2 p.m. Thursday, according to the board.
“Board staff discovered a great many overvotes, which means that someone voted for two people for the same office, in situations where they were only allowed to vote for one,” Board Chair Lynn Caterson said.
The problem was brought to the Atlantic County Democratic Committee's attention by Creed Pogue, said Chair Michael Suleiman, who then wrote a letter to the Board.
An investigation found that folds on some ballots hit voting bubbles on the “write-in” line in such a way that it caused the scanning machine to inaccurately read them as filled in by the voter.
Since the voter had voted for one of the given candidates, it threw out the vote on that line as an overvote, Caterson said.
ATLANTIC CITY — With 3,202 Democratic votes counted in Atlantic City shortly before noon Wed…
Workers will now go over every overvoted ballot and correct the vote if only one bubble was filled in, she said.
In addition, there are still about 6,000 provisional ballots to be counted in Atlantic County, of which about 525 were voted in Atlantic City, Superintendent of Elections Maureen Bugdon said.
There are not enough provisional ballots out there to reverse the existing leads in either the 2nd Congressional District race, where Amy Kennedy has double-digit leads in all eight counties and has already been deemed the winner by her main opponents; or the Atlantic City mayoral race, where the incumbent, Marty Small Sr., had a lead of more than 1,300 votes Thursday afternoon.
People filled out paper provisional ballots if they went to the polls Tuesday. Before provisional ballots can be counted, all vote-by-mail ballots must be on hand at the Board of Elections, to be sure no provisional voters also voted by mail. If a voter voted both ways, the mail-in ballot is the one that counts.
Gov. Phil Murphy ordered that all ballots received by mail be accepted for a week after the close of polls if they were postmarked by Election Day.
Kennedy’s two closest opponents conceded to her Tuesday night shortly after the polls closed. So far in Atlantic County Kennedy has about 80% of the vote — a more than 10,000-vote lead over her next closest competitor, Brigid Callahan Harrison.
In the Atlantic City mayoral race, the latest numbers showed Small in the lead with 2,537 votes to Pamela Thomas-Fields’ 1,216 and Jimmy Whitehead’s 184. So the city’s 525 possible provisional votes do not appear to be enough to swing those results either.
Small declared victory Wednesday, but Thomas-Fields has not conceded, and a member of her team said Thursday she is waiting for all ballots to be counted.
In Atlantic and Cumberland counties and five others around the state, the New Jersey National Guard helped election officials with the election Tuesday and its aftermath, according to the Guard.
Concerns about a shortage of poll workers and volunteers due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak spurred the effort. The Guard also has helped staff nursing homes during the pandemic, said Brig. Gen. Jemal J. Beale, the adjutant general.
In Atlantic County, Guardsmen assisted in assembling provisional ballot bags and filled in for polling-station workers and volunteers, the Guard said.
NJ Primary Results 2020 as of July 13
|Atlantic City||Mayor||Marty Small||D||3,326|
|Atlantic City||Mayor||Pamela Thomas-Fields||D||1,627|
|Atlantic City||Mayor||James Whitehead||D||243|
|Atlantic City||Mayor||Thomas Forkin||R||403|
|Atlantic County||Sheriff||Eric Scheffler||D||15,985|
|Atlantic County||Sheriff||Joseph O'Donoghue||R||11,029|
|Atlantic County||Surrogate||Stephen Dicht||D||12,991|
|Atlantic County||Surrogate||Levi Fox||D||2,877|
|Atlantic County||Surrogate||James Curcio||R||11,174|
|Atlantic County||Freeholder||Caren Fitzpatrick||D||15,660|
|Atlantic County||Freeholder||Celeste Fernandez||D||15,701|
|Atlantic County||Freeholder||John Risley Jr||R||11,213|
|Atlantic County||Freeholder||James Toto||R||10,876|
|Atlantic County||Freholder D3||Andrew Parker||R||2,187|
|Atlantic County||Freholder D3||Thelma Witherspoon||D||3,184|
|Barnegat Township||Township Committee||Alfonso Cirulli||R||1,668|
|Barnegat Township||Township Committee||Joseph Marte||R||1,662|
|Barnegat Township||Township Committee||Charles Cunliffe||D||1,644|
|Barnegat Township||Township Committee||Peggy Houle||D||1,691|
|Cape May County||Freeholder||Elizabeth Casey||D||5,504|
|Cape May County||Freeholder||Brendan Sciarra||D||5,285|
|Cape May County||Freeholder||Will Morey||R||6,624|
|Cape May County||Freeholder||Jeffrey Pierson||R||6,535|
|Lacey Township||Township Committee||Nicholas Juliano||R||1,980|
|Lacey Township||Township Committee||Bill Stemmle||D||1,286|
|Lakewood||Township Committee||Michael D’Elia||R||4,805|
|Lakewood||Township Committee||Hector Fuentes||R||4,632|
|Lakewood||Township Committee||Harold Herskowitz||R||1,391|
|Lakewood||Township Committee||Ray Coles||D||2,110|
|Lakewood||Township Committee||Mordy Gross||D||1,977|
|Little Egg Harbor||Township Committee||Ray Gormley||R||1,632|
|Little Egg Harbor||Township Committee||John Kehm||R||1,603|
|Little Egg Harbor||Township Committee||Gabriel Franco||D||1,273|
|Little Egg Harbor||Township Committee||Shaun Moran||D||1,264|
|Lower Township||Mayor||Christopher South||D||1,323|
|Lower Township||Mayor||Frank Sippel||R||1,455|
|Middle Township||Township Committee||Bob Jackson||D||987|
|Middle Township||Township Committee||Timothy Donohue||R||1,091|
|Ocean County||County Clerk||Scott Colabella||R||39,146|
|Ocean County||County Clerk||Kathy Russell||D||31,413|
|Ocean County||Freeholder||Joe Vicari||R||38,731|
|Ocean County||Freeholder||Helen Dela Cruz||D||31,398|
|Ocean Township||Township Committee||Ken Baulderstone||R||1,019|
|Ocean Township||Township Committee||Rita Kopacz||D||567|
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