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.
UPDATE 10/14/20: The NJ Division of Elections has corrected the issue and Maryanne is no longer getting calls.
Maryanne, an 83 year old widow who lives in Freehold, is getting about 45 phone calls a day on her home phone from Monmouth County voters calling to see if their ballots have been received by the Board of Elections.
Poll worker Annie Barr stands by while Governor Chris Christie votes for President of the United States with his daughter Bridget, at the Mendham Emergency Services Building in Mendham, N.J. on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. (Governor’s Office/Tim Larsen)
There is an urgent need of poll workers in Monmouth County, especially in the coastal towns impacted by Hurricane Sandy, according to a statement today by Monmouth County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon.
“Voting is one of the greatest privileges that we have as Americans,” said Hanlon. “Poll workers are essential to the voting process. Right now, we are asking our Monmouth County citizens to become a part of this process to help ensure fair and efficiently run elections.”
To qualify to be a poll worker, you must be a registered voter in Monmouth County and attend a poll worker training class. Classes are being scheduled now for the November General Election.
Monmouth County Democratic insiders tell MMM that all Monmouth County and Legislative Republicans except Assemblywomen Caroline Casagrande and Mary Pat Angelini will essentially get a free pass to election this year as Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal has been unable to recruit candidates or raise money for the legislative races in legislative districts 12, 13 and 30, or the County Offices of Freeholder and Clerk.
Gopal is expected to leave the candidate recruitment in LDs 12 and 30 to the other counties included in those districts. The 30th district, currently represented in the Assembly by Republicans Dave Rible and Sean Kean, has 12 towns in Monmouth County and two in Ocean County. Seven of the fourteen towns in the 12th district are on Monmouth County. The other seven are split between Burlington, Ocean and Middlesex Counties. The 12th district is represented by Republicans Ron Dancer and Rob Clifton.
Gopal’s trial balloon last December of making a second run for Assembly in the 11th himself( he ran in 2011) went over like the Hindenburg with State Democrats, other County Chairs and Special Interest donors who he had convinced that the money they invested in Monmouth County last year would lead to a pick up of Freeholder seats.
NJ Democratic State Committee Chairman John Currie, right and Vice Chair Lizette Delgado-Palanco
The New Jersey Democratic State Committee and five Belmar residents have filed suit in Monmouth County Superior Court alleging that the Republican candidates for Mayor and Council in last year’s municipal election, as well as four of their supporters, also Belmar residents, participated in a voter suppression scheme designed to disenfranchise vote by mail voters who delivered their ballots to Freehold via messenger.
The suit, filed as amended on February 3, also alleges that Monmouth County Superintendent of Elections Hedra Siskel instructed and/or advised two of the Belmar defendants, Joy and Carmine DeSanctis to alter, amend or modify their sworn affidavits challenging the mail in ballots. Siskel is not a defendant in the suit.
Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Dennis R. O’Brien has set a trial date of July 16 to determine if the Asbury Park municipal election ballots disqualified by the Monmouth County Board of Elections will be counted, according to a report in AsburyParkSun.
Daniel Harris, a candidate on the United Asbury ticket sued to have 332 vote by mail ballots and 32 provisional ballots that were disqualified for faulty signatures or missing witness/messenger affidavits counted in the final tally of the election that occurred on May 14. If the suit is successful, it is possible that members of the new council that was sworn in yesterday could be removed from office and replaced by Harris and/or other members of his ticket. Two members of the United Asbury ticket, James Keady and Duanne Small, are within 178 votes of unseating Mayor Myra Campbell and Deputy Mayor Susan Henderson. A pick up of 192 votes would also put Harris on the council and give United Asbury majority control of the council.
O’Brien ordered that the parties exchange the information that the need from each other by the end of the day today and raised the possibility that all 300-odd people who cast disallowed ballots could be called to testify.