Home>Campaigns>Van Drew maintains 14,446-vote lead after 6,638 more votes counted in Cumberland

Van Drew maintains 14,446-vote lead after 6,638 more votes counted in Cumberland

House Republicans dispatch a staff attorney from Washington to monitor vote counting in Vineland

By David Wildstein, November 06 2020 12:01 am

After more than 6,600 more votes were counted in Cumberland County on Thursday, Democrat Amy Kennedy has not been able to significantly reduce a lead mounted by Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis) in New Jersey’s 2nd district.

Kennedy picked up 3,431 votes in Cumberland, while Van Drew gained 3,207.  That leaves Van Drew with a 14,446-vote edge over Kennedy.

The Democrat-turned-Republican Van Drew now has a 146,495 to 136,182 lead over Kennedy, a former public school teacher and a member of one of America’s most famous political families.

While the race appears to be heading in Van Drew’s direction, there are still no less than 48,690 ballots that remain uncounted.

The race is close enough that the House Administration Committee Republican staff dispatched a staff lawyer, Sean Clerget, from Washington to monitor the counting at the Cumberland County Board of Elections in Vineland.

Reached on his cell phone, Clerget told the New Jersey Globe that he had no comment on his role as an election observer.

The Globe has learned that Clerget used his congressional staff credentials to gain access to the counting facility.

Cumberland has been counting votes at a snail’s pace and still has no less than 14,586 ballots that have not yet been tallied.  At their current rate, best case scenario to work through that backlog would be late Saturday night.

Kennedy had been at 60% in Cumberland when the first wave of voters were released Tuesday night and is now at 58%.

The key moment in this race will likely will likely come on Friday, when Atlantic County is expected to release as many as 13,092 vote-by-mail ballots that have not yet been counted.

Kennedy was at 52% in Atlantic County on Tuesday night and will need to do considerably better in the next round in order to close the lead Van Drew opened with new votes in Cape May, Gloucester, Ocean and Salem counties.

There are 9,383 provisional ballots from Atlantic – and 1,745 more from Salem — that won’t be opened until November 11.

It’s still not clear how many provisional ballots were cast in Camden, Burlington, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester and Ocean counties.

It’s also unclear how many ballots without postmarks were received by election officials by today’s close of business deadline, or how many ballots postmarked on or before November 3 arrive before the November 10 deadline.

Van Drew expanded is total 3,824 votes in Cape May, his home county, while Kennedy received an extra 1,415.

Gloucester County added 3,634 more votes for Van Drew and 1,940 more for Kennedy.

In Ocean County, Van Drew picked up 453 votes and Kennedy’s tally increased by 199.

Earlier this evening, the New Jersey Globe reported that Van Drew gained 1,546 more votes in Salem County, while Kennedy added 958.

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