The race for Congress in New Jersey’s 2nd district remains uncertain, with election officials not yet disclosing the number of uncounted ballots in the closely-watched race between incumbent Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis) and Democrat Amy Kennedy.
Van Drew leads Kennedy by 9,563 votes, 52%-48%, with at least 42,688 vote-by-mail ballots still uncounted in Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland and Salem counties.
That number is certain to increase over the next six days.
The 42,688 total does not include provisionals and ballots dropped off at polling locations, or late-arriving mail-in ballots delivered by the U.S. Postal Service. It also doesn’t include an indeterminate number of uncounted ballots in Burlington, Camden, Gloucester or Ocean.
Any totals beyond the 42,688 are simply guesses, since additional tallies of uncounted ballots have not yet been determined – or even to Board of Elections officials in the district. There are anecdotal accounts of provisional ballots cast, but nothing official.
Cumberland has the largest stockpile of uncounted votes: at least 28,521. As of last night, Kennedy led Van Drew there by 4,757 votes, a 63%-37% margin.
The Cumberland Board of Elections counted ballots today and are expected to release updated tallies after 9 PM.
Atlantic has at least 7,791 uncounted ballots, Kennedy has a 4,736-vote lead over Van Drew there, 52%-48%.
No additional are likely to be released today. Atlantic election officials spent the day zipping and striping ballots, a reference to opening the envelopes and preparing them to be counted.
Update at 8:39 PM: The New Jersey Globe has learned that there about about 9,000 uncounted provisional ballots in Atlantic.
In Salem County, the least number of possible uncounted votes is 4,221. Van Drew is ahead in Salem by 2,173 votes, 54%-46%.
Update at 8:42 PM: The Globe has learned that there are about 1,750 provisional ballots in Salem. The Salem Board of Elections will count these ballots at 4 PM on Thursday.
Cape May County is showing a minimum of 2,155 ballots remaining uncounted. Van Drew has a 9,741-vote margin in his home county, 60%-40%.
The other four counties are shared mostly in other congressional districts, and it’s not immediately clear how many outstanding votes come from NJ-2. Still, there are undoubtedly some votes in this pool – and those are may just slightly favor Van Drew.
Van Drew leads in Gloucester County by 1,732 votes, 52%-48%, and in Ocean County by 4,695 votes, 61%-39%. He is also ahead in Burlington and Camden, which combined for 5,051 votes – or 1.8% of the total votes already counted in the 2nd district.
There were no changes to those four counties today.