Ocean County vote count resumes following COVID case

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The Ocean County Board of Elections resumed work Wednesday following a deep cleaning of its offices on Hooper Avenue in Toms River after a worker tested positive for coronavirus, county officials confirmed.

Vote totals had not been updated on the Ocean County Clerk’s election results website since the afternoon of Saturday, Nov. 7.

“They did not count on Sunday,” Ocean County Administrator Carl W. Block told The Ocean Star. “They did not work on Sunday because they were caught up. On Monday it was discovered that there was a positive COVID case. It was an employee living with their mother. The mother tested positive and when they told supervisors they were sent home and told to get tested and tested positive so they are out on quarantine.”

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“Anybody else that may have come in contact … what we did was suggested to the Board of Elections that they send the crew out, let most of them go early on Monday. Monday night we sent a professional crew in to sanitize the building, all the offices, hallways, everything.

“They were closed down for one day, Tuesday, and then Wednesday morning we had arranged for them to get rapid tested and anyone who tested positive obviously couldn’t work, they had to go get a second test, and anyone who didn’t test positive was allowed to go back into work beginning Wednesday morning, so the operations really only missed one day Tuesday.”

The elections staff has counted more than 325,000 ballots so far. With workers resuming work, they are currently working on provisional ballots.

“They were up to date so it didn’t really hurt their schedule. All of the mail-in ballots have been already processed. They could not do the provisional ballots until Wednesday anyway ,so Wednesday morning they started the provisional count and they are on schedule to meet the statutory deadlines to certify everything [which is Nov. 23],” Mr. Block said.

“They only have about I think it was 9,000 or 10,000 provisionals in the whole county … so they are on their way doing that.”

The following are the initial, unofficial results as of 8:50 a.m. Saturday with 73 percent of mail-in ballots reported and 183 polling-place votes. Provisional votes are still pending.

[Apparent winners shown in boldface]

OCEAN COUNTY LOCAL RACES [The Ocean Star towns]

BAY HEAD BOROUGH COUNCIL [2 seats]
Jennifer Barnes-Gambert [R] 384
Andrew Frizzell [I] 169
James W. Gates Jr. [R] 408

BAY HEAD BOARD OF EDUCATION [1 seat]
Write-in 92

BRICK TOWNSHIP BOARD OF EDUCATION [2 seats]
Micah Bender 11,456
Michael A. Blandina 12,159
Jessica Clayton 12,164
Melissa Lozada 9,437
Melissa Parker 12,807

LAVALLETTE BOROUGH COUNCIL [2 seats]
David Finter [R] 1,053
Anita Zalom [R] 1.088

LAVALLETTE BOARD OF EDUCATION [2 seats]
Steve Shohfi 924
Alison Zylinski 948

MANTOLOKING BOROUGH COUNCIL [2 seats]
Anthony M. Amarante [R] 175
Douglas H. Nelson [R] 174

POINT PLEASANT BOROUGH COUNCIL [2 seats]
Pamela Snyder [R] 8,160
John Wisniewski [R] 8,217

POINT PLEASANT BOARD OF EDUCATION [2 seats]
Damian Lardieri 3,661
Cheryl Salway 4,902
Joan A. Speroni 5,260

POINT PLEASANT BEACH BOROUGH COUNCIL [2 seats]
Thomas F. Brennan [D] 993
Caryn Byrnes [R] 1,760
Ernest J. Geiger, Jr. [D] 971
Thomas H. Migut [R] 1,722

POINT PLEASANT BEACH BOARD OF EDUCATION [1 seat]
Michael M. Ramos 2,077

LIVE NJ AND OCEAN COUNTY VOTE COUNTS

This is an excerpt of the print article. For more on this story, read The Ocean Star—on newsstands Friday or online in our e-Edition.

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