By John Burton
RED BANK – Borough Democrats have decided to accept the final tally for the Nov. 5 election and the election has been certified by Monmouth County.
The municipal Democratic Committee met last weekend to discuss the possibility of seeking a recount because of the close totals in votes cast for Cindy Burham, the top Republican challenger and Kathy Horgan and Sharon Lee, the two Democratic incumbents. But, the committee ultimately decided to forego a recount, according to Edward Zipprich, Democratic municipal chairman and borough council member.
“We just thought it wasn’t feasible to go through the process,” because of the time, effort and cost the process could entail, Zipprich said.
On election night, the unofficial vote totals for the two available seats for the the six-member council showed Republican challenger Burnham leading the Democratic incumbents, Horgan by one vote and Lee 25 votes. Republican Sean Di Somma trailed his running mate by 107 votes. At that time, former mayor Edward J. McKenna Jr. and other party faithful said, if the race stayed that close _ or narrowed – after the count of absentee, provisional and mail-in ballots, a recount could likely be in the offing.
The Monmouth County Board of Elections’ certified theresults for all county races on Monday. The final results showws Burnham remained the lead vote-getter with 1,301 total, pulling a little more ahead of Horgan, who had 1,296 votes and 30 votes ahead of Lee, who had garnered 1,271 votes.
The borough had 16 provisional ballots, eight of which were eventually rejected; and 142 mail-in ballots, with two rejected, according to Bertha Sumick, Monmouth County special deputy clerk for elections.
Lee said today she was satisfied with the decision not to pursue a recount, given technological advances in voting machines and appreciation of the democratic process.
“We’re not talking dimpled chads here,” she said, referring to the 2000 Presidential election in Florida that became mired in controversy. “Besides, I believe in the process.”
“The machines are very accurate,” Sumick said of the electronic voting machines the county has been using since 2006. Since the machines have been used, she has “ever seen a change” in final vote total counts.
Burnham, who hasn’t held public office, will be sworn in withHorgan to their three-year terms during the council’s Jan. 1 reorganization meeting.