Democrat Barbara Buono’s campaign claimed the morning after Wednesday’s special election that thousands of voters in the governor’s race are being disenfranchised by confusion over mail-in ballots. At issue are mail-in ballots for both Wednesday’s special U.S. Senate election, in which Newark Mayor Cory Booker defeated Republican Steve Lonegan, and the general election, which is headlined by Buono’s challenge to Governor Christie, a Republican. Some voters erroneously submitted their general election ballots in the same return envelope as the one used for their special election ballot.
The Attorney General’s Office confirmed the confusion but said it was limited to a handful of ballots. And election officials were ordered to secure those ballots so they could be counted in November.
Buono’s campaign alleged during a conference call Thursday morning that those November ballots were being invalidated.
“Contrary to some published reports, there was no advice given to discard November mail-in ballots included in the same envelope,” said Leland Moore, a spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office. “The advice given was to count the October special election ballots and to secure and set aside the November general election ballots. The status of this small number of November ballots is under review.”