There were no candidates on the ballot for seven Board of Education seats in five Cape May County municipalities but fortunately there were a lot of write-in votes.
Cape May County Deputy Clerk Jo Ann Hunt issued a partial list of the write-in votes on Wednesday for West Cape May, Cape May, Sea Isle City, West Wildwood and Wildwood Crest, but cautioned no winners would be declared yet. Due to problems from Hurricane Sandy, absentee ballots are being accepted up until Nov. 19.
"The election is not over. There are still more ballots to count," said Hunt.
One of the larger write-in campaigns was in West Cape May where nobody filed for three seats on the board partly due to confusion caused when the elections were switched from their normal April time slot to November. Every school district in the county made the switch this year to save money and increase voter turnout, but even incumbents were confused about where and when to file their petitions to run.
As of Wednesday afternoon, however, there were already 139 write-in ballots, for 22 different candidates, counted in West Cape May for two full three-year terms and one unexpired one-year term. Second Avenue resident Leonard Wilmore had the most votes for the full term at 27 and the most for the shorter term with 14. Incumbent Christopher Wood had 22 votes and could win the second full term. Incumbent Janice Conwell was second for the shorter term with six votes.
In Cape May, no candidates filed for a one-year unexpired term but Columbia Avenue resident Jane Elwell appears to be a certain winner with 33 votes. Ten others got votes but the highest only had two.
In Sea Isle City nobody filed for a one-year unexpired term. Barbara Drewcq received four votes and Margaret Lennon received one.
West Wildwood had no candidate for one seat but Lori Perloff received 16 votes. Four other residents each got one vote.
In Wildwood Crest, James Johnson received 28 write-in votes for a two-year unexpired term. James Bradley was a distant second with 9 votes. Six others received votes.
Hunt noted that voters sometimes had different ways to list a name. Will Morey and William Morey received votes in Wildwood Crest. In West Cape May, ballots listed Christopher Wood, Christopher, and Wood on three different ballots.
Hunt said it is up to her to determine the intent of the voter.