A special election for Old Bridge Township Council will proceed on March 22 after a Superior Court judge again slammed the state for “erroneous information” in New Jersey’s voter database that resulted in the invalidation of the November 2 election results.
Judge Thomas Daniel McCloskey threw out the election for a Ward 4 council seat after finding that 27 voters were sent incorrect ballots and that 17 of those voters participated in the 2021 election and ordered a new election.
Democrat Jill DeCaro, who received 11 more votes that GOP incumbent Mark Razzoli, had asked McCloskey to stay his ruling pending a decision by the appellate court. McCloskey denied that request, saying there was “no probability of DeCaro succeeding on the merits.”
As a result, DeCaro cannot be sworn in as a councilwoman.
McCloskey found that the Statewide Voter Registration System (SVRS) didn’t properly follow boundaries set in the 2011 ward redistricting map put voters from the odd numbered homes on one side of Cymbeline Drive in Ward 2, and the even numbered homes on the opposite side of Cymbeline Drive residing in the Ward 4.
McCloskey said the court was “gravely concerned” about “demonstrated fatal errors” in the data base that incorrectly assigned voters to the wrong ward. He said if not for the closeness of the race, the mistake would remain undiscovered.
“None of the parties of the action did anything wrong,” he said.
Deputy Attorney General Deborah Allen, who represents the Division of Elections, did not dispute that the mistake rested with the state and not Middlesex County Clerk Nancy Pinkin.