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Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi

Rajoppi: Some Union County Committee races remain unconfirmed

No announcement from Mahr on Scutari challenge

By David Wildstein, June 10 2019 9:39 am

Union County Democrats are about 34 hours away from their county chairman election and State Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D-Linden) is still unopposed.

Colleen Mahr has still not announced her intentions.

Some of her supporters said last week that she was considering a rematch against Scutari, who defeated her 412 to 341 in a February 2018 special election for county chairman after Jerry Green stepped down.

Mahr’s interested peaked, her supporters said, when Scutari lost control of the Linden Democratic county committee.  Her interest may have waned a bit when municipal chairs in Hillside and Winfield who supported her last year announced their endorsements of Scutari.

One complication is the lack of certification of all winners in nearly 300 contested races for county committee seats.

Union County Democrats have no filing deadline, which means a name can be placed in nomination when the county organization meets tomorrow evening.

Final certifications of county committee winners has not yet been made for Plainfield and Roselle.

Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi and her staff worked through the weekend in an effort to check tallies after Board of Elections administrator Nicole diRado sent municipal clerks new totals on Friday afternoon that included 48-hour vote-by-mail ballot counts and provisional votes.

Rajoppi said that the new vote-by-mail law, which requires VBM ballots postmarked on Election Day to be counted as long as they arrive by close of business on Thursday, “does not permit a sufficient time allowance for the county committee list to be certified.”

“My office policy is to check all counts for accuracy and late on Friday afternoon we found several discrepancies.  In a few towns the VBM count was not included for County Committee nor was the Provisional tally included,” Rajoppi said.  “Once we determined these anomalies, we notified Ms. diRado and asked her to correct same.  Early Friday evening she sent ‘corrected’ tallies to the municipal clerks.”

Rajoppi said that her staff worked to confirm tallies on Saturday and Sunday.

I was concerned that if errors occurred in one or two towns they might have occurred elsewhere,” said Rajoppi.  “Late this afternoon my staff was able to confirm all results with the exceptions of Plainfield and Roselle.”

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