UPDATE: Hurley adds that John Mooney, former Atlantic County Superintendent of Elections appears poised to be appointed to the board:
“John Mooney, former (Democratic) Atlantic County Superintendent of Elections appears poised to be appointed to The Atlantic County Board of Elections.
This is not confirmed, but well placed sources have advised that this is a likely scenario, especially considering that Election Day is fast approaching.
This would answer the immediate issue of the Board not having a Quorum to be able to hold a meeting.”
Tomorrow morning’s 7:00 a.m. “Hurley in the Morning” hour on WPG Talk Radio 1450 is set to address a series of “serious” election issues that have to do with the Atlantic County Board of Elections, according to an email obtained by PolitickerNJ from the show’s host, Harry Hurley.
With just two weeks to go before the Nov 4th elections, the Atlantic County Board of Elections — the only bipartisan entity involved in the oversight and ballot processing of Atlantic County elections, according to its website — is facing one vacancy on its board and could potentially face another as early as tomorrow. The first vacancy arose when Democrat Bernice “Sandy” Couch was forced off the board after filing to run in the county’s School Board election, according to Hurley (New Jersey Title 19 considers the seat immediately vacant when a candidate petition is filed for a primary or general election).
The only exceptions to the rule are for those running for county committee or as a delegate to a convention. Atlantic County Board of Elections Chairman Bob Marshall informed Couch she would be forced to leave the board this past Friday, Hurley said.
And the board may face its second vacancy as early as tomorrow, when the last standing Democrat on the board, Paula Dunn, is expected to step down due to health reasons. Hurley said well-placed source say the lone Democrat will resign after having been absent the past seven months due to failing health.
Both vacancies are for Democratic seats, Hurley noted, leaving the board of four with no Democratic members. The vacancies would also leave the elections board without the ability to meet a quorum, which is required in order to review mail-in ballots and other responsibilities the board is tasked with under state law.
“Many of these Boards fight like ‘cats and dogs’ around the state, because you have two Republicans and two Democrats voting on ballots and making other decisions that can effect the outcome of an election,” Hurley’s email read. “In Atlantic County over the years, the four members have worked very well together. Considering the fact that it’s a partisan position in nature, they have done a very credible job keeping out politics as best as humanly possible.”
“Losing Couch and Dunn, especially at the same time is a big loss for The Atlantic County Board of Elections,” he added.
Elections board positions are filled at the appointment of the governor and serve staggered two-year terms. There are two Republican Commissioners and two Democratic Commissioners, as mandated by Title 19.