NJ 2021 Election Results: Who won in New Jersey Governor’s Race, Jack Ciattarelli or Phil Murphy? What’s next?

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TRENTON, NJ – While America watched patiently to see who won the main card event between Glenn Youngkin and Terry McAuliffe in Virginia, a heated contest broke out where it was least expected, in New Jersey. The battle between New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and his Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli became one of the closest races for governor in New Jersey history.

Phil Murphy took a commanding lead in early voting, outpacing Ciattarelli nearly two to one, but as many Republicans said early on, the right came out to vote on Tuesday, and in larger numbers so far than the Democrats.

In a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans by one million voters, Jack Ciattarelli now maintains a razor-thin lead of 1,193 votes, with 88% of voting districts reported by 3 am.

Ciattarelli has 1,173,558 votes, or 49.65% of the total votes to Phil Murphy’s 1,172,365 votes, or 49.60% of the total voe count.

Here’s what’s left to be counted

The odds could now be in Phil Murphy’s favor after he bridged a nearly 25,000 vote deficit overnight. The Republican strongholds of Ocean, Monmouth, and Morris Counties, where Ciattarelli dominated Murphy have counted all votes except for late mail-in ballots.

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Democrat-aligned counties of Essex, Burlington, and Hudson still have a few more votes to count before it’s all over.

The rest of the state is also waiting on late mail-in ballots as voters had until polls closed to have their ballots postmarked to count. That count could take well into next week until finalize.

What’s next?

Counties across New Jersey will continue voting absentee mail-in ballots. For ballots to be counted, they must be postmarked on or before 8:00 p.m. November 2 and be received by the County Board of Elections on or before November 8.

That means there could possibly be thousands of additional ballots to count between now and November 8th at each county election office.

Can there be a recount?

With such a razor-thin margin, this election might not be over for quite some time as a recount is possible. New Jersey does not, like some other states, automatically put close elections into recounts. A candidate can request a ballot recount within 17 days of the election and there is no margin required. That means either Ciattarelli or Murphy can request a recount at any time during those 17 days.

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When it comes to recounts, the campaigns themselves pay for the costs of the recount. The Ciattarelli campaign is low on cash while Murphy’s campaign has a large cash reserve on hand. Both candidates can raise money to pay for a recount if necessary.

If a candidate requests and pays for a recount and it turns out they win the election, the state refunds the cost of the recount back to the campaign.

“When any candidate at any election shall have reason to believe that an error has been made in counting the votes of that election, the candidate may, within a period of 17 days following such election, apply to a judge of the Superior Court assigned to the county wherein such district or districts are located, for a recount of the votes cast at the election in any district or districts,” New Jersey law states.