Snail Mail? N.J. Sample Ballots Arrive 2 Weeks Late

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Some of the sample ballots for Gloucester County’s primary election did not make it to mailboxes until more than a week after the June 2, 2015 election. (Joe Owens | for NJ.com)
Rebecca Forand | For NJ.com By Rebecca Forand | For NJ.com
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on June 11, 2015 at 3:30 PM, updated June 11, 2015 at 3:36 PM

It’s been more than a week since New Jersey’s June 2, 2015 primary election, where voters nominated candidates for local and county offices, but some Gloucester County voters are just receiving their sample ballots now.

Sample ballots are mailed to every registered voter in the county for each election. They include not only the names of candidates, but the full text of any referendum questions and local polling locations as well.

They are supposed to make it to voters’ homes no later than a week before an upcoming election, according to election officials, but in this case some have yet to make it to those individuals.

“It’s probably the worst situation we’ve ever had,” said Gloucester County Clerk Jim Hogan.

Not only is there a federal regulation requiring the ballots be delivered, but the cost of printing and mailing the ballots costs can be between $18,000 to $30,000 per election.

Stephanie Salvatore, the county’s supervisor of elections, has the documentation proving the 180,000 ballots were all printed, addressed and prepped at the county’s mail-house and then sent to the U.S. Post Office’s Bellmawr location for distribution. This is where things went wrong, Salvatore believes.

She has launched her own investigation into the matter, but complaints from voters are still coming.

At least some voters in all 24 Gloucester County municipalities received their sample ballots on time, but some did not, Salvatore said. Addresses in larger municipalities such as West Deptford and Mantua were especially affected, but so were other towns throughout the county.

“Swedesboro is small and some got them and some didn’t,” Salvatore said. “It seems to be pallets are missing.”

Officials at the U.S. Post Office are also investigating the issue, according to Ray Daiutolo, a spokesman for the USPS.

“The Postal Service has a proud tradition of participating in the democratic process by processing and delivering campaign materials and election mail, including domestic and overseas absentee ballots,” he said in an email Thursday. “We appreciate the importance and sensitivity of political and election mail and strive to deliver every piece on time and within the standard established for the mail service used.”

While sample ballots are sent in bulk, they are to be treated as First Class mail, according to Hogan.

“Somebody dropped the ball big time,” he added.

While most primary elections were uncontested in the county this month, the Clerk and Supervisor of Elections agree that voters not receiving their sample ballots can lead to major problems in the election from low voter turnout to voters not being informed on the issues in a given election.

“Getting those sample ballots out ahead of time gives people a chance to be an educated voter,” Salvatore said.

As the investigation continues, she added that in the next election the county will be spending a little more money to track all of the sample ballots as they are delivered.

“It’s going to cost more money, unfortunately, but for now it’s what we’re going to have to do.”

Rebecca Forand may be reached at rforand@southjerseymedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @RebeccaForand. Find the South Jersey Times on Facebook.

© 2015 NJ.com. All rights reserved.

Gloucester County Primary Election Results

Brittany M. Wehner | For NJ.com By Brittany M. Wehner | For NJ.com
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On June 03, 2015 at 8:07 AM, updated June 03, 2015 at 8:09 AM
It was time for New Jersey voters to hit the polls Tuesday and select their choice for who will represent each party in the November General Election.
After polls closed at 8 p.m., the unofficial tallies were released for each county including Burlington, Camden, Cumberland, Gloucester, and Salem.

Check out the results for each county below:

Burlington County
Candidates were selected for two county freeholder seats, Burlington City mayor, and three council seats. Additionally, candidates for two seats on Southampton Township Committee were selected in the Tuesday election.
Click here for Burlington County Primary Election results.

Camden County
In Camden County, residents voted for a sheriff, surrogate, one unexpired term and three full-term seats on the freeholder board. Candidates were also selected in contested municipal races including Cherry Hill, Clementon, Gloucester Township, Haddon Heights, Lawnside, Stratford, Voorhees, and Waterford Township.
Click here for Camden County Primary Election results.

Cumberland County
Voters in Cumberland County selected candidates to fill seats on the board of chosen freeholders, Commercial, Deerfield, Downe, Fairfield, Greenwich, Hopewell, Lawrence, Maurice River, Stow Creek, and Upper Deerfield township committees.
Municipal races in Cumberland were uncontested, with the exception of Fairfield Township. However, one of the candidates dropped out of the race.
Click here for Cumberland County Primary Election results.

Gloucester County
In the only contested primary race in Gloucester County, two faced off for the mayoral nomination for Paulsboro Council. Unofficial tallies showed that Councilman Gary Stevenson beat out incumbent Mayor W. Jeffrey Hamilton for the mayoral seat in Paulsboro. There were also two open council nominations. No Republican candidates  filed to run in the primary.                                                                                                 For full coverage on Gloucester County Primary Election results, click here.

Salem County

Salem County candidates faced off for the mayor’s seat in both Salem City and Penns Grove, in addition to a seat for the West Ward city council president.
In Penns Grove, four candidates also sought borough council seats. Candidates squared off for seats on Oldmans and Lower Alloways Creek township committees.
All other municipal races in Salem County were uncontested.
To read about the Salem County Primary Election results, click here.
All results from the election are unofficial until certified.

Brittany Wehner may be reached at bwehner@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @brittanymwehner. Find the South Jersey Times on Facebook.
© 2015 NJ.com. All rights reserved.

Christie nominates 8 for Gloucester County positions

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Gov. Chris Christie nominated eight individuals for appointments or reappointments in Gloucester County government positions.

In a list of nominations to the state senate, Christie included recommended appointments county board of taxation, the Gloucester County College Board of Trustees and the Gloucester County Board of Elections.

Those nominated are:

– Stephanie Salvatore is nominated for reappointment as the Gloucester County Superintendent of Elections.

– Elizabeth S. Rogale of Glassboro is nominated for reappointment to the county board of taxation.

– Bradley A. Blubaugh of Sewell is nominated for reappointment to the county board of taxation.

– Rocco A. Ficara of Woodbury is nominated for reappointment to the county board of taxation.

– Lou Sebastiani of Sewell in nominated for reappointment to the county board of taxation.

– Laurie J. Burns of Turnersville is nominated for appointment to the board of taxation.- Douglas J. Wills of Mullica Hill has been reappointed to the Gloucester County College Board of Trustees.- George J. Scott of Williamstown has been reappointed to the Gloucester County College Board of Trustees.

 

Gloucester County GOP Elects New Leadership

 Gloucester County, NJ – The Gloucester County GOP held their biannual elections last night at Washington Township High School.

In a unanimous decision from approximately 150 County Committee members, the T.I.M.E. for change team of Chairman Kevin Murphy, Vice Chairwoman Phyllis Martin, Secretary Margie Love and Treasurer Jim Patrick were elected as the new Executive Committee for the GOP.

This cross-county Executive Committee is focused on aligning the party countywide and winning elections by adhering to core Republican values and to the principles of Transparency, Inclusion, Motivation and Effectiveness.

“I’m grateful that the Gloucester County Committee people elected this team to lead the County GOP for the next two years. Our leadership will focus on grassroots efforts to win elections and give a voice to every municipality in the county,” said new Chairman Kevin Murphy.

“The hard work to win elections in Gloucester County has already started. We are humbled by the support of the municipalities and will do everything in our power to rebuild this party and make it the strong organization it used to be,” said new Vice Chairwoman Phyllis Martin.

This new leadership represents a new step forward for all Gloucester County Republicans and plans to meet with all municipalities in the coming weeks.