Michaela O’Brien’s vote has been counted, 84 days after she cast it, and as a result the Neptune City Council election between Democrat Michael Skudera and Republican Richard Pryor is tied at 602-602. A special election between the two currently former councilmen will be held on March 22.
O’Brien, an 18 year old Brookdale student voting for the first time on November 3, voted by provisional ballot when her name did not appear in the poll book at the Neptune City First Aid Building. O’Brien turned 18 in August and registered to vote on or about October 13, according to the election contest complaint file by Jason Sena, Esq on behalf of Pryor.
The Board of Elections disqualified O’Brien’s ballot because they could not verify the last four digits of her Social Security number with the Social Security Administration, according to the complaint. The four digits O’Brien entered on her Voter Registration Application and her provisional ballot match the last four digits on her Social Security card.
The official and certified vote count was 602-601, in favor in Skudera after a recount.
Sena told MMM that the matter, which was scheduled for trial on Friday, was settled by Pryor and Skudera on Wednesday when there were no facts to dispute at trail and that O’Brien’s vote should be counted. Judge Katie A. Gummer ordered the Board of Elections to open the ballot, which was cast for Pryor. The Board of Election was able to verify O’Brien’s social security number this time, according to Sena.
Pryor, who was an incumbent running for reelection, gave up his office when his term expired on December 31. Skudera was sworn in on January 1st and vacated the office yesterday when the election was declared a tie.
“I’ve always said that every vote counts—I prove it,” O’Brien said in a phone interview last month.