ELIZABETH, NJ - Republican Steve Bowman has, after the closeness of key-entry and mail-in results could not decide the race's outcome and necessitated Provisional Ballots be tabulated, claimed the Summit Common Council Ward II seat by just nine votes. 

A total of 59 Provisional Ballots were received, 18 were rejected and 41 were counted, with one of those indicating no candidate chosen. Democrat Greg Vartan earned 22 votes to Bowman's 18 via Provisional Ballots, leaving the final votes total favoring Bowman, 2,579 to 2,570, which represents a razor-thin margin of 50.187 to 49.912 percent, or .00174%.

The Provisional Ballots were counted at the Union County Board of Elections Office in Elizabeth. Prior to the Provisional Ballot totals, Bowman led Vartan by 13 votes in the too-close-too-call race after key-entry and mail-in ballots.

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Reached via telephone by TAPinto Summit immediately after the Provisional Ballots were counted, Vartan said he will not seek a recount, meaning the election will likely be certified November 14.

"I just got off the phone with Steve Bowman and wished him the best success moving forward," said Vartan. "I'll be around to help."

Also contacted via telephone, Bowman noted the past four days have been both "overwhelming and exhilarating," and praised his opponent. "I feel fortunate to win, Greg was a worthy adversary and I think the national political scene should take note of our race -- there was no name calling, there was a respectful dialogue between two well-qualified candidates."

Bowman will be sworn-in January 5.