Cumberland County officials have another week to finish counting ballots from the Nov. 6 election, leaving some candidates in a tight Vineland City Council race to wait longer see their political future.
The county was to have until today to finish counting ballots and then certify the results of those counts, but now has until Nov. 27 to finish its work.
However, the delay — granted to 14 counties on Tuesday by the state Division of Elections — will not result in a postponement of Vineland’s mayoral and City Council runoff voting on Dec. 18. Vineland City Clerk Keith Petrosky will still select ballot positions on Nov. 27.
Officials with the Cumberland County Board of Elections said the main reason for the extension involves an extraordinary number of mail-in and provisional ballots.
Election board officials had to count more than 4,200 mail-in ballots. Board officials started counting more than 2,100 provisional ballots on Tuesday. Board officials said Tuesday afternoon they have not finished counting all those ballots.
Once election board officials finish their counting, the results will go to the Cumberland Clerk’s Office. The clerk’s office is responsible for certifying the results.
Those results could affect which Vineland City Council hopefuls make the runoff election ballot.
The 10 City Council candidates who received the most votes during the Nov. 6 election will appear on the ballot for the runoff.
Vote totals posted on the election board’s website show Angela Calakos in ninth place with 4,074 votes and Carlos Villar in 10th place with 4,036. Candidate Maritza Gonzalez is in 11th place, but trails Calakos by 40 votes and Villar by only two votes.
The results include tallies from voting machines and mail-in ballots. Those updated results essentially flipped the placement of Calakos and Gonzalez based on voting machine tallies only.
A runoff election for City Council is held when no two candidates get more than 50 percent of the vote during the initial election.
A mayoral runoff election is held when no candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote. Residents then get to pick from the top two finishers. Available results show the Dec. 18 runoff candidates for mayor will be incumbent Robert Romano and former City Council member Ruben Bermudez.
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