How convenient! The New Jersey State Senate President, a Democrat, is refusing to concede because thousands of new ballots have been “recently found” which might let him hold his seat. Stephen Sweeney, one of the most powerful and entrenched politicians in New Jersey, appears to have lost a senate seat he has held for 20 years to an obscure former truck driver who ran as a Republican with minimal funding or media attention.
Miraculous stack of ballots discovered
The Associated Press has already called the race for Republican Edward Durr, who currently leads by 2,000 votes over Democrat Stephen Sweeney.
Durr, a former truck driver for a furniture company, did not expect to win. His political career previously consisted of only two unsuccessful runs for a seat in the New Jersey General Assembly.
His campaign was the bare minimum; Durr made few public appearances and spent hundreds where his opponent spent hundreds of thousands.
Durr acknowledged that he hadn’t really needed to do anything and that his victory was overwhelmingly a repudiation of the Democrats by New Jersey voters.
Sweeney thinks that the magical ballots being discovered might still be able to save his campaign from defeat against such a humiliating vanquisher.
New Jersey being what it is, it’s surprising that it’s taken this long for Democrats to start talking about stacks of misplaced ballots being discovered.
Dragging out the process
Presumably Sweeney and the Democrats believed that their party machine in New Jersey would be able to drown both Durr and Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli in money without much need for more extreme measures.
Ciattarelli has also refused to concede the race to incumbent Democrat Phil Murphy, citing the fact that tens of thousands of mail in votes have not yet been counted.
Both races highlight the frustration and controversy which is likely to arise increasingly often in the future with the rise of extremely lax laws on mail in votes.
Citizens of New Jersey should not be kept waiting for an entire week after election day so that a few thousand late coming ballots can be counted.
Regardless of what is actually happening with these votes behind the scenes, the situation can only inspire distrust and bitterness in voters who wonder why the results are being delayed so extensively.
Sweeney’s announcement about the discovery of thousands of new ballots will sound disturbingly similar to many of the convenient ballot discoveries made after election night in 2020.