Vote-by-mail ballots in today’s runoff election for three Newark ward city council seats are outpacing the total mail-in ballots cast in the May 10 non-partisan municipal elections.
In the West Ward, where rapper Dupré “DoItAll” Kelly and former assistant Commissioner of Community Affairs Chigozie Onyema are facing off for an open seat, 694 vote-by-mail ballot were cast as of early this morning. That’s more than t he 595 that were cast last month. The incumbent, Councilman Joe McCallum, has pled guilty to taking bribes and kickbacks and is awaiting sentencing.
More VBM ballots were cast in the South Ward runoff that in May, with 698 mail-in ballots already received. Voters cast 663 votes in last month’s election.
Patrick Council, the influential South Ward Democratic municipal chairman now faces Terrance Bankston, who spent seven years as an aide to Newark Mayor Cory Booker. Councilman John Sharpe James is not running again.
So far, 370 vote-by-mail ballots have been received in the East Ward, slightly less than the 339 cast on May 10.
Former Newark Police Chief Anthony Campos, who forced six-term Councilman Augusto Amador into a runoff four year ago, faces Michael Silva, a retired detective who now has the backing of the city’s power players. Amador is retiring after 24 years in office.
Vote-by-mail ballots postmarked by 8 PM tonight will still be counted if they arrive at the Essex County Board of Elections by close of business on Monday.
The polls opened this morning with no significant issues – something different from last month’s election – with the exception of a report that someone was using a bullhorn outside a polling location.