Essex County election officials begin counting votes from 56 districts after delays
UPDATE: The Essex County Board of Elections says that all votes have now been tallied as of Thursday night.
Original story below:
Thousands of ballots in the New Jersey election are still being tallied, including many that were cast on Tuesday.
Essex County election officials now have their hands on votes that had been locked up in 56 districts in the county. They were brought to Belleville after being released by a judge.
Those machines had to be impounded Tuesday night because poll workers did not shut them down properly.
Workers with the county Board of Elections and county clerk’s office are now counting the votes. It was unclear how many votes were left to be counted.
The votes are mostly from areas of East Orange, Maplewood, Montclair and Newark – all typically Democratic areas.
The Essex County clerk says that this is not unusual in any election year and that they often do not get all of the districts on election night. County Clerk Christopher Durkin says that what makes this year different is the closer race, which requires faster results.
“In every election, we don’t receive all of the districts’ reporter. This is faster than normal. Normally it takes more time to get a court order from a judge to retrieve the results. We sped up that process to get in front of a judge yesterday to read the results today,” Durkin says.
Durkin says that usually officials wouldn’t even to go to the judge until Friday.
The county still has to count about 1,500 mail-in ballots and 3,000 provisional ballots. They will start counting those next week.