Bob Hugin will have a 25,000 vote lead over Senator Bob Menendez tonight but a winner will not be declared until November 20. Ballots post marked today and delivered by the post office by Thursday evening are to be counted under Governor Murphy’s new election law. There will be a record number of provisional ballots to be verified and counted or not. There will be counts, recounts, lawsuits and reviews of security cameras at the North Bergen and Jersey City Post Offices before the final outcome is known.
Menendez will be in the lead on November 12 when a sealed bag of uncounted provisional ballots is discovered behind filing cabinet in the Ocean County Board of Elections Office in Toms River. On November 13, a bag of provisional ballots will be discovered by a janitor at the Hudson County Board of Elections in Jersey City. Superior Court Judges in Ocean and Hudson Counties will order that those ballots be examined and counted if they are determined to be valid. The examinations will not start until November 16 because the Board of Elections Commissioners will already be the NJ League of Municipalities Convention in Atlantic City.
The winner of the U.S. Senate race will be an afterthought because the Republican Party’s control of the Senate will not be in question. Bob Hugin will be the GOP’s 55th senator. Hugin will caucus with Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
House of Representatives
The United States of America will not know which political party will control the 116th Congress until December 5, as the nation awaits the outcome of elections in New Jersey’s 3rd, 7th and 11th congressional districts.
By noon on Wednesday November 7, the Associated Press will have called 217 seats in the House of Representatives for the Republican Party and 215 for the Democrat Party. Three races in New Jersey will be too close to call.
Due to the new law signed by Governor Phil Murphy in August, ballots delivered to Boards of Elections by the US Post Office through Thursday at 8PM will have to be counted starting on Friday, November 9. The Associated Press will declare Mikie Sherrill the winner over Jay Webber in CD-11 on Monday the 12th. Republicans will have 217 seats, Dems 216, with two NJ seats yet to be determined.
The outcomes of the 3rd district race between Rep Tom MacArthur and Andy Kim, as well as the CD-7 race between Rep Leonard Lance and Tom Malinowski, will depend of the counting of a record number of provisional ballots cast by voters who showed up at the polls only to be told that they were mailed a ballot they did not request, due to Murphy’s law, and were not eligible to vote in the machines. Their provisional ballots would count towards the final tally only after their County Board of Election verified that their Vote By Mail ballots were not cast and counted.
The Union County Board of Elections and the Burlington County Board of Elections will not start sorting through provisional ballots until, Friday November 16 because their commissioners are going to Atlantic City. Each board had pre-paid for rooms at the NJ League of Municipalities Convention November 13-15 and the commissioners are really really super excited to go to the convention.
On Monday, November 19, Governor Murphy will pardon a turkey and blame President Trump for the delay in counting the New Jersey ballots. Murphy will ask the Union County and Burlington Board of Elections commissioners work on Black Friday if the provisional counts are not complete before their offices close for Thanksgiving at 3pm on Wednesday.
The provisional ballots will be counted and recounted three times in Union and four times in Burlington through November 30th. Malinowski will have a 4 vote lead in the 7th district and MacArthur will have a 6 vote lead in the 3rd district. The parties will go to court to challenge ballots.
On December 1, the Associated Press will declare that New Jersey is really messed up. On December 5, Malinowski will be declared the winner in CD-7 and MacArthur the winner in CD-3.
Josh Welle will get less votes in CD-4 than Rich Pezzullo gets is CD-6 and less votes than Lorna Phillipson got in her race against Congressman Chris Smith in 2016. Welle will blame his loss on an insignificant ultra-right wing blogger who tricked the mainstream media into portraying him as an arrogant and condescending fraud instead of covering all the enemies of the state hanging out in food stores and restaurants.
Welle will join his brother’s solar energy company and will seek the Democrat nomination for Monmouth County Sheriff in 2019.
Sue Kiley and Gerry Sharfenberger will be elected Monmouth County Freeholders.