A manual recount today of 1,605 absentee ballots reduced Morris County Republican freeholder candidate William Hank Lyon’s slim primary lead over incumbent Margaret Nordstrom to just six votes, down from last week’s tally of 10.
But the race is hardly over, as a new wrinkle has emerged in that county election workers have discovered that four Republicans registered in Parsippany voted twice, both by absentee and provisional ballots, and the state Attorney General’s Office has been asked for guidance.
County election workers are aware of the identities of the people who voted twice but not which candidate they chose or whether they bypassed the freeholder race and wanted only to vote for other contested primary races.
County Election Board member John Sette said he brought the duplicate ballots brought to the attention of state Superior Court Assignment Judge Thomas Weisenbeck, who alerted the Attorney General’s Office.
Sette said the issue is whether voter fraud occurred or whether voters honestly requested absentee, or mail-in ballots and then forget they did so and went to the polls on primary day, June 7, and were allowed to vote by provisional ballot.