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Passaic County Superintendent of Elections Shona Mack-Pollock. (Photo: Shona Mack-Pollock).

Passaic goes home for the night without new vote counts

One incumbent county commissioner trails by just 11 votes

By David Wildstein, November 15 2021 9:22 pm

The Passaic County Board of Elections, which began counting provisional ballots early this afternoon after being off for five days, went home a few hours ago without posting any new election results and isn’t scheduled to return until 3:30 PM tomorrow.

The lack of election results in Passaic is startling considering that an incumbent county commissioner is currently trailing by 11 votes out of more than 100,000 cast, with two other commissioner seats and a surrogate race still too close to call.

The Board of Elections left without any public statement updating the public on the status of their vote counting.

As of this morning, there were about 4,000 uncounted provisional ballots that had not been counted.  About 300 of them had been deemed invalid by staff, although that number was not validated by the Board of Elections.

Superior Court Judge Ernest Caposela had ordered counting to begin at 12:30 PM, but it didn’t begin until close to 2 PM.

Democrat Zoila Cassanova has taken a 710-vote lead in the race for Passaic County Surrogate.  Cassanova had trailed Republican Aisha Mamkej by 224 votes before remaining vote-by-mail ballots were counted on Wednesday.

County Commissioner Sandi Lazzara, a Democrat, leads the balloting with 50,367 votes.  Republicans Nick Gallo, a Totowa landscaper, is in second place with 49,953.

Wayne Councilwoman Lucy Rivera has a narrow lead over Democratic incumbent John Bartlett for the third seat, 49,392 to 49,381.

Veteran Ringwood Councilman William Marsala is running fifth with 49,300 votes, just 81 votes behind Bartlett and 92 behind his running mate, Rivera.

A Democratic incumbent, Assad Akhter, is running sixth with 48,321 – 1,071 votes out of third place.

Last week, Gallo and Rivera led with Lazzara up by 74 and Bartlett 830 votes out of third place.

Republicans haven’t won a county commissioner race in Passaic since 2009 and last won a Surrogate contest in 1992.

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