The U.S. Postal Service delivered 1,371 new ballots from Montclair today, adding 2,913 more votes to the mix since counting was completed on Tuesday.
Sean M. Spiller led the balloting in the mayoral election by 450 votes against Renee Baskerville on Tuesday night, and 347 votes separate the top vote-getter in the race for two at-large township council seats from the candidate in third place.
A total of 1,542 ballots were delivered to the Essex County Board of Elections on Wednesday, and 1,371 today.
On Tuesday, 7,757 of 8,459 ballots received were counted. It’s not immediately clear if the difference – 702 votes – were rejected on technicalities, or whether some of them have not yet been counted.
Because of the huge number of ballots being delivered on Wednesday and Thursday, Essex election officials postponed a meeting originally set for this evening and will instead review ballots on Friday afternoon.
In the council race, Peter Yacobellis (3,728) and incumbent Bob Russo (3,640) lead Roger Terry (3,381). Russo and Terry ran with Spiller.
Today’s numbers appear to be favorable to Spiller.
Spiller won the 1st Ward by 455 votes (60.7%) and 825 new ballots have come in since Tuesday afternoon. He took the 2nd Ward by 351 votes (57.8%), with 905 new ballots arriving, and the 3rd Ward, where he is a councilor, by 166 votes (54.7%) with 596 additional ballots now in place.
Baskerville carried the 4th ward, where she is a councilor, by 450 votes (65.3%). The total number of new ballots in 4th is 586.
The new votes could make the council race tighter. Yacobellis led Terry in the 4th Ward by 231 votes, the 2nd Ward by 93, and the 3rd Ward by 53. Terry outpolled Yacobellis in the 1st Ward by 30 votes.
State law sets close of business today as the deadline for ballots to come in, as long as they are postmarked by 8 PM on May 12.
It’s not immediately clear how many of the ballots that arrived today were mailed after the deadline.
There have been multiple reports of ballots taking a week or more to be delivered by the U.S. Postal Service.
The Board of Elections will not count any ballots that come in after today, and it would be up to a candidate to challenge the certification of the election.