TRENTON, NJ -The general election for America and New Jersey is just three months away and so far, not a single race in the state of New Jersey has been certified by the New Jersey Division of Elections. Nobody is being told why. According to Secretary of State Tahesha Way, those certifications were to be done by July 24th. Seven counties asked for extensions because ballot counting continues there.
While some candidates like U.S. Senate Candidate Rikin Mehta has declared himself the winner, others like his opponent Hirsh Singh who trails by just a few votes are waiting for the final county to be certified by the state. So far, there is no final or official county anywhere in the state, just county by county in-progress tallies.
While some counties have completed their vote count and others continue counting ballots, a recount is also imminent as tens of thousands of ballots have been thrown away, others lost and many others rejected for simple errors by the voters.
In a normal election year, the state publishes unofficial vote counts within days of an election. With the mail-in ballot, like many other government functions in the state during COVID-19, everyone is still waiting. Ballots for the November election cannot be printed until the state announces official winners.
Even with the mess created by the July mail-in election, Governor Phil Murphy remains committed to repeating the same mistake in November.
On Friday, Murphy said the election results will be released when the ballots are done being counted…whenever that is.
“The Secretary of State and the elections team within her auspices will post them. Does it impact November? It’s too early to tell at this point, but we’ve learned a fair amount from it,” Murphy said. “And most of what we saw, we liked. Again, if anything, I think the physical in-person capacity was – undershot our aspirations and hope, which is why I’ve said now for several weeks, we want to make a decision, I would hope plus or minus by the middle of this month as to what November will look like.”
Attorney General Gurbir Grewal is trying to force counties to expedite the process and end counting. Grewal has also opposed the recounts in very close elections where uncertainty remains as counting continues in those counties.
Hirsh Singh, who has been an opponent to the mail-in election said he is asking for a recount in some counties where the race is too close to call, but said election officials are asking him to pay tens of thousands of dollars to hold that recount.
“Tens of thousands of ballots remain uncounted, rejected or lost, disenfranchising tens of thousands of New Jersey voters,” Singh said. His opponent, Rik Mehta has declared himself the winner and is now asking for donations to continue his battle against Cory Booker, despite being ahead in the vote by just under 10,000 votes unofficially. Mehta, a former Democrat under the Obama Administration championed the mail-in ballot election in July.