RESOLUTION 2023-88 CALLING ON THE MERCER COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS AND THE MERCER COUNTY EXECUTIVE TO ABOLISH THE MERCER COUNTY OFFICES OF THE SUPERINTENDENT AND DEPUTY SUPERINTENDENT OF ELECTIONS
WHEREAS, the 2022 General Election held in Mercer County, New Jersey, on November 8, 2022, was plagued by many issues, including poor communication from the Offices of the Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent of Elections and malfunctioning voting machines, that created a chaotic atmosphere for voters, poll workers, and election officials; and
WHEREAS, in the aftermath of the 2022 General Election approximately six (6) percent of Robbinsville’s voters who cast a ballot on November 8 received letters from Mercer County election officials stating that their votes did not count despite casting their votes as directed by County election officials; and
WHEREAS, as reported to the Township Council and Administration by residents who received these letters, clear information has not been forthcoming from either the Mercer County Board of Elections or the Mercer County Superintendent of Elections, with each office avoiding accountability and casting blame on the other for the mishaps during and after the 2022 General Election; and
WHEREAS, the conduct of elections in Mercer County, pursuant to State law, involve the offices of the Board of Elections, the Superintendent of Elections, and the County Clerk; and
WHEREAS, New Jersey law provides an immediate means to streamline the aforementioned election procedures; and
WHEREAS, N.J.S.A. 19:32-54 allows any county of the second class, including Mercer County, to abolish the offices of superintendent and deputy superintendent of elections by ordinance; and
WHEREAS, such ordinance will simply only require a majority vote of the Mercer County Commissioners and the signature of the Mercer County Executive; and
WHEREAS, since 2020, the Mercer County Office of Superintendent of Elections has been budgeted and spent approximately $6.6 million; yet, there have been considerable issues in the past two general elections; and
WHEREAS, in addition to streamlining the election processes, abolishing the Office of Superintendent of Elections will result in the savings of millions of dollars for Mercer County taxpayers; and
WHEREAS, it is in the interests of all municipalities in Mercer County, and all of the residents and voters therein, to streamline the election processes in Mercer County to reduce, if not eliminate, the likelihood that the issues that plagued the 2022 General Election; and
WHEREAS, the Township Council and Mayor of the Township of Robbinsville are united in this call for the Mercer County Board of County Commissioners and the Mercer County Executive to seize the opportunity provided by New Jersey law to abolish the Mercer County Offices of the Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent of Elections as a first step in streamlining Mercer County’s election processes and bringing accountability to Mercer County’s election officials; and
WHEREAS, the Township Council and Mayor of the Township of Robbinsville call on their counterparts among Mercer County’s eleven other municipalities to ask for the Mercer County Board of County Commissioners and the Mercer County Executive to take action;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Township Council of the Township of Robbinsville, County of Mercer, State of New Jersey, hereby calls upon the Mercer County Board of County Commissioners and the Mercer County Executive to adopt an ordinance abolishing the Mercer County Offices of Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent of Elections in order to help streamline Mercer County’s election processes and ensure accountability from Mercer County’s election officials.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Township Council and Mayor of the Township of Robbinsville unequivocally support each legal voter’s right to cast a vote and have that vote counted, and that no legal voter shall be disenfranchised due to errors made by election officials.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this Resolution be forwarded to the Mercer County Board of County Commissioners and the Mercer County Executive.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this Resolution be forwarded to the Mayors and Municipal Clerks of East Windsor Township, Ewing Township, Hamilton Township, Hightstown Borough, Hopewell Borough, Hopewell Township, Lawrence Township, Pennington Borough, Princeton Township, the City of Trenton, and West Windsor Township.
I certify this to be a true copy of a Resolution adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Robbinsville at a meeting held on March 9, 2023.
Michele Seigfried, Municipal Clerk