Past Cinderella’s curfew and beyond the target deadline for the Sussex County Board of Elections, a small gathering including Freeholder Rich Vohden, freeholder candidate Dennis Mudrick, acting County Clerk Jeffrey Parrott, Sheriff Michael Strada and two of Franklin Mayor Paul Crowley’s children waited for results of the Tuesday primary election. The unofficial results that never came.
Numbers appeared to be coming in smoothly for the first half of the evening. However, as charts displaying unofficial results flashed on the wall via a projector, watchers noticed the number of reporting districts changed, and not always in an upwards direction. According to the results, the number of districts reporting numbers were decreasing, and the number of Walpack votes totaled 61, though only 22 registered voters reside in the community.
Though Sussex County Board of Elections Administrator Marge McCabe expected that most of the early results were accurate, she was unsure of the later numbers. By 12:30 a.m. Board of Elections employees were contacting technical support for their voting machine’s software.
One of the last remaining was Stephen “Ernie” Skellenger, part of freeholder candidate Phillip Crabb’s campaign. Skellenger, 22, has worked on campaigns throughout the county since 2007– 32 campaigns, to be exact. Skellenger can’t remember any prior election results taking so long to be released.
“Last time was late, but not this late,” Skellenger said. During the school board elections Skellenger and others stayed at the Cochran House Building until 11 p.m.
As for when the official unofficial results will be available, McCabe is shooting for early morning. Or, as she put it, “As soon as we get the excellent results that we expect to get.”
“We’ll be here as soon as we get a good night sleep and we’ll be at it again,” McCabe said.
McCabe ensured the eager candidates and voters that officials would go through the results “line by line” until completely confident. The results are considered unofficial until they are certified by the county clerk.
Source: New Jersey Herald.