Provisional Ballots Still Being Counted to Decide AC Mayor

It’s been nearly a week since the general election was held, which was supposed to decide who will be the mayor of Atlantic City, but the race has yet to be called because the Board of Elections is still counting ballots. Atlantic County Democratic Committee Chair Jim Schroeder told NJTV News Managing Editor Mike Schneider that the board is still counting provisional ballots and that the mayoral race is being contested.

“We had just about 100 vote by mail ballots that we had to got through,” said Schroeder. “We finished that. We are now working on provisionals and of course the Assembly race in the second district as well as the mayor race in Atlantic City are still being contested.”

When it comes to the mayor’s race, Schroeder believes it’s still an uphill battle for incumbent Mayor Lorenzo Langford, but it won’t be known if Don Guardian will be the city’s next mayor until all of the votes are counted for, which is why the Board of Elections was brought in.

The initial vote count was supposed to be finished following the election, but two Republican board members could not be present for the count. Schroeder said that the members said they would not be available until days later. He also said that 40 investigators were to go into Atlantic City to talk to provisional voters.

“These were people who were in the employ of the Republican Party and they challenge primarily minority voters in Atlantic City,” said Schroeder. “My concern is provisional voters. It has a chilling effect. They didn’t go into suburban neighborhoods and question these people. They confined their quote unquote investigations to predominately minority communities. So that causes great concern.”

Republicans have made comments that Schroeder and fellow Democrats have tried to confuse voters into signing petitions for mail-in and provisional ballots, which Schroeder says is untrue. There were two groups working on increasing the minimum wage in Atlantic County, according to Schroeder.

“As I understand it, my counter partner in the Republican Party has questioned their activities,” said Schroeder. “We had no involvement in those activities, we had no coordination or cooperation with those groups. Whatever question he is raising is confined to those groups and not the Atlantic County Democratic Committee.”