The vote tonight for Morris County Republican Chairman could have a few hiccups, courtesy of embattled County Clerk Ann Grossi.
Grossi’s last week abandoned her role of advising municipal clerks on the number of write-in votes a county committee member needs to be certified as the winner, instead telling municipalities they should seek their own advice. Having different towns provide an assortment of rulings for the same office has led to problems with the certification of write-in candidates, multiple sources have told the New Jersey Globe.
In April, Superior Court Judge Ernest Caposella ruled that Grossi didn’t understand state election law when improperly instructed municipal clerks about the number of signatures required on nominating petitions for county committee.
That complicates tonight’s vote for county chairman between Ronald DeFilippis and Robert Zwigard, since some candidates who received enough votes to qualify for election may not have been certified by their municipal clerk. The original instructions from Grossi, which Caposela called “illegal,” could end up disenfranchising a properly elected county committee member from casting their vote for county chairman.
A survey of 39 municipal clerks obtained by the New Jersey Globe shows at least nine different methods of certifying write-in candidates.
“Grossi’s office has compromised the integrity of Tuesday’s election, potentially allowing for the election of ineligible candidates and the electoral loss of candidates who won their election according to New Jersey statutes,” said Morris County Democratic Chairman Chip Robinson. “Morris County residents deserve better than an elected official earning over $130,000 per year abdicating their chief responsibility.”