Morris election officials decline to count rejected ballots in Morris Township race

Morris Township Committee candidates (L-R): Democrat Bud Ravitz and Republican Incumbent Peter Mancuso, Oct. 21, 2019. Photo by Marion Filler
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Morris County officials are not going to recount rejected provisional ballots that William “Bud” Ravitz believes could reverse his defeat in last month’s Morris Township committee election.

Not without a court order, anyway.

Ravitz has until Thursday to decide whether to seek such an order.

This week his lawyer unsuccessfully pressed state Deputy Attorney General George Cohen to direct county Board of Elections Commissioners to review 42 ballots rejected at the polls because they were not sealed as required by law.

“George said they made the decision, and that they have discretion to accept them or not,” attorney Scott Salmon said on Tuesday.

Ravitz, a Democrat, trailed the committee’s lone Republican, Peter Mancuso, by 15 votes after a recount of other ballots just before Thanksgiving. County officials declined to include the disputed provisional ballots in that recount.

Salmon said Ravitz and Township Democratic leaders now must decide if they are willing to shoulder the attorney fees and court costs of a legal battle. Thursday’s deadline reflects a state law that requires legal challenges to be filed within 10 days of a recount, Salmon explained.

The requirement for sealed provisional ballots generally makes sense, as a protection against electoral fraud, Salmon acknowledged.

But he said has 17 affidavits from voters who contend they followed proper procedures, or instructions from poll workers, and they want their ballots counted. Ravitz calls the situation “Gluegate,” suggesting bad glue on the ballots may have prevented them from sealing properly.

If the outcome holds, Mancuso will serve his seventh term on the Township’s governing body.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. If you have evidence that someone or some group deliberately tampered with the glue on the envelopes, please present it. Otherwise, if you still don’t like the law, work to change it. This is starting to sound like the Seinfeld episode with defective glue on the wedding invitations. At least no one has dropped dead (yet). Otherwise, you would be calling for murder charges!

  2. ‪Voter suppression, attempts to reduce the number of voters who might vote against a candidate or proposition. It is a practice commonly employed by the Republican Party to stop voters who are more likely to vote against them. ‬

    ‪There are many aspects to it. ‬
    ‪- Purging of voter rolls‬
    ‪- Limitations on early and absentee voting‬
    ‪- Disinformation about voting procedure‬
    ‪- Identification requirements‬

    ‪And now we have this novel feature re the defective glue on the envelopes.

    As previously stated: “The voters shouldn’t be penalized for something over which they had no control.”‬

    Count all the votes in Morris Township!!

  3. JT the ballots WERE sealed by the voters as stated in their complaint, but the glue didn’t stick or stay sealed while under the watch of the poll workers and Board of Elections. The voters shouldn’t be penalized for something over which they had no control.

  4. Suppression? Is there evidence not mentioned here that anyone was prevented from casting a ballot? As noted in the article, the ballots are required BY LAW to be sealed. If you don’t like the law, you should work to change it.

  5. Voter suppression is not only an issue in national politics. It also happens locally. Not counting these votes in Morris Township is our local variety of this misdeed.

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