With an extra 54 votes added in Camden County, Republican Congressman Jeff Van Drew now leads Democrat Amy Kennedy by 14,500 votes in New Jersey’s 2nd district.
The race has been close to call since Tuesday. With no less than 48,690 unopened ballots waiting to be counted – this number is likely higher since it doesn’t include provisionals and late-arriving votes sent through the mail and VBMS in some places – Van Drew has expanded his lead since Election Day.
Van Drew is now ahead of Kennedy, 157,962 to 143,462, in a race that has made national news since Van Drew announced late last year that he was switching parties after refusing to support the House impeachment of President Donald Trump.
In Camden County, Van Drew added 349 mail-in ballots to his total, while Kennedy picked up 295.
Since Election Day, Van Drew increased his lead by 4,937 votes.
Still, 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.
There are still no less than 25,127 ballots still uncounted in Cumberland – South Jersey radio personality Harry Hurley told me this morning that Cumberland can only count about 400 votes an hour – and Atlantic has no less than 22.,475 uncounted votes.
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.
Several counties reported new numbers on Thursday.
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.
Van Drew gained 1,546 more votes in Salem County, while Kennedy added 958.
In Cumberland late last night, Kennedy picked up 3,431 votes in Cumberland, while Van Drew gained 3,207.