The book on “Election Fortnight 2012” will be closed Wednesday as the Sussex County Board of Elections finishes counting paper ballots and the county clerk submits the certified vote to the secretary of state. Normally a quick and relatively easy process, even in a presidential election year, the 2012 vote was complicated and extended by Hurricane Sandy and the state’s efforts to ensure anyone who was eligible to vote, got a chance to vote.
Among those special efforts were extending the hours for county clerk’s offices to allow voters to file paper ballots in person; allowing voters displaced by the Oct. 29-30 storm to vote at any polling place in the state; and giving displaced voters until the Friday after the Nov. 6 Election Day to make an application for the county clerk to mail them an absentee ballot.
The deadline for the mail-in ballots, which usually must be received by the Board of Elections by 4 p.m. on Election Day, was extended to 4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 19.
In a normal election, the county Board of Canvassers meets at noon on the Monday following the election to certify the vote. This year, that meeting was postponed by nine days until Wednesday.
“We are still getting dribs and drabs (of votes) in the mail,” Board of Elections Administrator Marge McCabe said on Monday afternoon.
She said the Board of Elections will meet this morning to open the sealed ballots and count the votes.
Also expected to arrive at the Board of Elections today via overnight mail are packages from at least three other counties where Sussex County voters showed up to vote. While they could not vote in Sussex County local elections, those displaced voters could cast ballots in the federal elections for president, Senate and House of Representatives.