VINELAND — Cumberland County election officials said they are still reviewing a record number of provisional ballots from the Nov. 6 vote, and final totals for all races will not be known for a few more days.
The final tally could make a difference in which candidates appear on the ballot for the Vineland City Council Dec. 4 runoff election.
No two City Council candidates received more than 50 percent of the vote. That means local voters will pick five City Council members from the top 10 vote-getters.
The results of voting machine tallies show that City Council candidate Carlos Villar is in 10th place with 3,637 votes. The tallies also show that City Council candidate Angela Calakos trails Villar by only 10 votes.
Cumberland County Board of Elections Chairman Troy Ferus said the agency received slightly more than 2,100 provisional ballots for this election, a record number of those ballots, he said.
Of those 2,100 provisionals, about 700 were cast in connection with the Vineland mayoral and City Council elections, Ferus said.
This is also the first time that the city held its nonpartisan mayoral and City Council elections during a November general election, Ferus said. That is adding to a high volume of ballots with which county election officials must contend, he said.
Board of Election staff at their headquarters in Hopewell Township continue to review the provisional ballots to determine which ones can be officially counted, Ferus said. The staff is determining things such as whether some residents who submitted provisional ballots did not also vote at polling places, and whether signatures on provisional ballots match those on county voting records, he said.
The sheer number of provisional ballots cast in this election makes that a time-consuming process, he said.
“There’s never been an election like this (in Cumberland County),” Ferus said.
Eighteen candidates ran for City Council this year. The top 10 vote-getters as per the voting machine tallies are Mayra Arroyo with 6,780 votes, Maria LaBoy with 6,560 votes, incumbent Peter Coccaro with 6,423 votes, Nelson Thompson with 5,685 votes, Antonio Romero with 5,638 votes, Anthony Fanucci with 4, 395 votes, John Procopio with 4,123 votes, Paul Spinelli with 4,001 votes, Maritza Gonzalez with 3,713 votes, and then Villar.
There will also be a mayoral runoff because no mayoral candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote. The contest will be between the two candidates who received the more votes.
Voting machine tallies show incumbent Robert Romano with 7,749 votes, former City Council member Ruben Bermudez with 4,899 votes, former Mayor Perry Barse with 4,101 votes, City Councilman Douglas Albrecht with 2,146 votes and David Mazur with 246 votes.
Arroyo, LaBoy, Coccaro, Thompson and Romero are all members of Romano’s “Proven Progress” slate. Fanucci, Spinelli, Villar and Calakos were on Barse’s “Vineland Taxpayers First” slate. Procopio and Gonzalez ran with Bermudez under the “Moving Forward … Together” slogan.
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