The race for the two Monmouth County freeholder seats narrowed on Wednesday evening when the Board of Elections reported approximately 22,000 ballots of the estimated 175,000 votes that remained to be counted.
With 212,780 ballots reported, Democrat Michael Penna and Republican Lillian Burry lead Democrat Moira Penna and Ross Licitra by less than 1% in the race to be the only people ever to be elected as Monmouth County Freeholders and sworn in as Commissioners. Legislation passed earlier this year changed the name of the office.
MMM has learned that the Board of Elections is counting ballots in the order in which they were received. Ballots received as of October 21 have been processed.
Democrats voted earlier than Republicans and unaffiliated voters, according to election officials who expect that Republicans Burry and Licitra will be the ultimate winners.
One official said that it will be Monday before all the the mailed ballots are counted and the Board starts processing provisional ballots cast on Election Day. Another official said the process could go another week. “There were an estimated 375,000 ballots cast and they are counting at a rate of 22,000 a day. Do the math,” the official said.
Monmouth County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon, a Republican, is leading comfortably in the other County wide race.