Tinton Falls election becomes a hot topic in Sea Bright

Staff Writer

Staff Writer

SEA BRIGHT — In a pre-election snafu, borough voters received the wrong sample ballots from the county. Instead of ballots pertaining to the borough, the ballots were for Tinton Falls.

Councilwoman Maria Fernandes said the tip-off to local residents that they had received the wrong ballot, before they even looked at the candidates’ names, was the presence of a Tinton Falls public question on its first aid squad among the public questions listed on the ballot sheet.

"I’m getting bombarded with phone calls," she said Oct. 29.

Fernandes speculated that voters in Tinton Falls got Sea Bright’s sample ballots, but that didn’t happen, according to Bertha Sumick, Monmouth County clerk of elections. She said Tinton Falls got the correct ballots.

Sumick said all the sample ballots for Monmouth County towns were sent to an outside mailing service, Universal Mailing Service, Piscataway, and it apparently got the wrong ballots for Sea Bright.

John Bradshaw, Monmouth County superintendent of elections, said it’s believed the mix-up began in the office of the outside printer the county uses.

"What we think," he explained, "is the box was mislabeled from the printing office."

Bradshaw said the correct sample ballots for Sea Bright were to be delivered on Wednesday [Oct. 30] to the mailing house, which would take them to the post office.

"We expect people in Sea Bright to get them by Saturday [Nov. 1] at the latest," he said.

The election was Tuesday.

Bradshaw said such a mix-up with the wrong ballots going out to a town has occurred only one other time during his five years in the superintendent of elections job.

"We get them out early enough," he noted, "that if this happens, it’s a correctable problem."