VINELAND — Residents will have to wait a little longer to cast their final ballots for mayor and City Council candidates.
Runoff elections for both contests are being pushed back from Dec. 4 to Dec. 18, City Clerk Keith Petrosky said Tuesday.
The delay is “due to the impact of Hurricane Sandy on the election process,” Petrosky said. Officials at the Cumberland County Board of Elections are still waiting for any possible provisional ballots cast by local first responders in counties where they were dispatched to participate in post-storm efforts, he said.
Also, the election board is also dealing with 1,500 mail-in ballots and 700 provisional ballots related to the municipality’s mayoral and City Council races, Petrosky said.
A mayoral runoff election is being held because no mayoral candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote during last week’s balloting. The City Council runoff election will be held because no two City Council candidates received more than 50 percent of the vote.
Voting machine tallies show that incumbent Mayor Robert Romano will be challenged by former City Council member Ruben Bermudez in the runoff election for the chief executive’s position.
Residents will pick five City Council members from the top 10 vote getters in last week’s election. The voting machine tallies show those candidates to be Mayra Arroyo, Maria LaBoy, Peter Coccaro, Nelson Thompson, Antonio Romero, Anthony Fanucci, John Procopio, Paul Spinelli, Maritza Gonzalez and Carlos Villar. Arroyo and Coccaro are incumbents.
Petrosky said nine votes separate the 10th-place and 11th-place City Council candidates. The Board of Elections website sets the difference at 10 votes.
“From a practical standpoint, we can’t even schedule the ballot position drawing until we know with certainty who will appear on the ballot,” Petrosky said.
County election board officials said Monday that they hope to have final voting results some time this week.
The last day to register to vote for the runoff elections is now Nov. 27. Polls will be open that day from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Persons with questions about the runoff elections can call the City Clerk’s Office at 856-794-4060.
In other local government business on Tuesday, City Council voted 5-0 to adopt an ordinance that allows for the “managed care of feral cats” within local borders.
Under the program, sponsors would register their feral cat colonies with the city and have their requests approved by local officials. Among the duties required of the sponsors would be that they must make “all reasonable, good faith efforts” to vaccinate their cats for rabies and have 100 percent of the colony sterilized.
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