WAYNE, NJ – Three Wayne election contests are still deemed too close to call and the winners will be determined by provisional ballots.

For Wayne Town Council, Ward One Republican incumbent, Richard Jasterzbski leads Democrat challenger Arlene Sullivan by only forty votes.

Only fifty-eight votes separate Ward Three Republican Incumbent and current Town Council President Franco Mazzei who leads his Democrat Challenger Karen Dowicz-Haas.

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For the Board of Education, sixty-six votes separate lead write-in candidate Dawn Kumar from James Fera

Ward One:

  • Jasterzbski – 551 Votes – 51.88%
  • Sullivan – 511 Votes – 48.12%

Ward Three:

  • Dowicz-Haas – 914 – 48.46%
  • Mazzei – 972 – 51.54%

Board of Education Write-in Candidates

  • Dawn Kumar - 680 Votes - 36.23%
  • James Fera - 614 Votes - 32.71%

According to Paul Margiotta, the Wayne Township clerk: “There were a lot more provisional votes that came in this year.” 

Provisional ballots, according to the New Jersey Division of Elections Website, are paper ballots that are used at the polling place on election day to give people the opportunity to vote if their name is not on the voting roles. 

You must use a provisional ballot if:

  1. You are a registered voter in the County who moved within the County and did not notify the County Commissioner of Registration before election day of your current address; or
  2. Your registration information is not complete in the poll book, for example your signature or address is missing; or
  3. You are an Active Need ID voter who has not provided identification information; or
  4. There is a marking in the poll book that you applied for a mail-in ballot, but you tell the board worker:
    • you did not apply for one; or
    • you applied for a mail in ballot, but did not receive it; or
    • you received it but did not return it.

“Many people signed up for mail-in ballots last year not knowing that they were signing up in perpetuity,” said Margiotta.  “So, people were showing up to vote this year not realizing that they were signed up for mail-in ballots.”

There were also cases where some voters never received their mail-in ballots. Ward Four Town Council winner, Joe Scuralli told TAPinto Wayne that his mother never received her mail-in ballot at all and he mentioned that he heard this from other voters as well.

Each provisional ballot must be investigated and reviewed by the Passaic County Superintendent of Elections office to make sure that the vote is from a legitimate registered voter, who hadn’t voted already (via mail-in), then each count is confirmed. 

Given the amount of provisional ballots, this has taken longer than usual. 

Ken Herman, from the Passaic County Board of Elections said, “We are looking to start our count on Friday morning [November 15] at 10:00am and I’m hoping to be finished by 4:00pm.” His count will then go to the County Clerk for certification and sent to the state.

Meanwhile, Jasterzbski and Sullivan, Mazzei and Dowicz-Haas, Kumar and Fera and all of their future constituents must wait for this process to play-out to see who wins each respective race.

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All voters can call 1-877-NJVOTER (1-877-658-6837) after the election to find out whether their Vote by Mail or Provisional ballot was counted or the reason it was rejected.