Cumberland Consternation: No Result Creates Early Confidence Gap

Kennedy and Van Drew.

There is considerable consternation in South Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District at this moment, as voters await Cumberland County numbers – and suffer an as yet inexplicable election results-jamming delay in the vote tally.

With just over 21% of the vote tallied in Cumberland, the frozen tundra totality looks like this:

Ballots Cast:
19,113
Registered Voters:
89,73

U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-2) last night declared victory, mostly on the strength of his margin in Cape May over Democratic challenger Amy Kennedy and her underwhelming margin in Atlantic County.

But in Cumberland, Kennedy has been stalled with 11,513 to Van Drew’s 6,756, with thousands of votes still undisclosed.

Sources say it will be very difficult for Kennedy to close the margin.

But that’s besides the point.

Where are the votes?

At least 4,500 provisional ballots (the rest are vote by mail ballots, according to the clerk’s office) are in question, as sources said the office of Governor Phil Murphy is getting involved.

The County Board of Elections was under the hood this morning, but the more time that ticked by, the greater the upsurge of concern, even as Kennedy refused to concede.

Especially amid behind-the-scenes collisions with the Democratic establishment in the western part of the district and a top-down GOP message to declare victory regardless of provisional vote counts, who could blame her?

Broadly, Cumberland County Clerk Celeste Riley described the challenges 2020 has presented stating, “Our residents are used to the County Clerk’s Office reporting unofficial election results sent to our office by the Board of Election on the night of or in the early morning after the election.”

Riley added, “The Clerk’s office cannot report results until the votes are counted by the Board of Elections and reported to us. The Board of Elections has advised us that there is a large vote by mail turn out and that counting is ongoing. The County Clerk’s Office is committed to reporting the results as soon as they are received from the Board of Elections.”

InsiderNJ placed a call to Lizbeth Hernandez , administrator with the BOE.

She did not return a call for comment.

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