ROXBURY, N.J. - It could be another week before Roxbury School Board candidates Richard Alexander and Meredith Soranno know for sure who won Tuesday's election.
After votes were counted on election night, Alexander, the incumbent, emerged with eight more than challenger Soranno. Roxbury Township Clerk Amy Rhead made it clear that the election night tally was unofficial and might change after absentee ballots were counted the next day.
But even after that count took place, certainty was not to be found; It showed that Alexander got 3,366 votes to Soranno's 3,361. "In the spirit of accountability and transparency - the information I received from the County Clerk just now is that absentee ballots show 258 for (me) Alexander and 261 for Meredith - cutting the difference to 5 votes," Alexander posted on the TAPinto Roxbury Facebook page. "Provisional ballots have not yet been processed. Recount may be in order to insure accuracy. The excitement continues."
The next day, Rhead reported the existence of 111 more ballots that now need to be counted. These "provisional" ballots will be analyzed by elections officials during the week, meaning the election could go either way for Soranno and Alexander.
Soranno's sister, Laurel Whitney, served as campaign chairman for Soranno and running mates Peter Okun and Lisa Millus. Soranno, a political newcomer who excitedly watched the results trickle in at Roxbury town hall on election night, is anxiously optimistic.
"She wants to know," said her sister. "She wants to know either way. We haven't been able to give a concession or anything because we don’t know."
Both sides said they are going to request a final recount, given the tightness of the race.
"It’s a close election," he said. "They've just got to go through the process and tabulate all the results. I'm just being patient and we'll wait for the outcome."