Rikin Mehta-Hirsh Singh race too close to call with 100,000 votes still uncounted.
Although the Associated Press has declared Rikin Mehta the winner of Republican US Senate primary in New Jersey over fellow Indian American Hirsh Singh, Election officials are unwilling to call the race with over 100,000 votes still uncounted.
At the last count on Friday, Mehta was ahead of Singh by 14,000 votes, but one election commissioner cited by local Shore News Network declared it’s absurd to call a winner at this point.
“You cannot call this election, there are too many outstanding ballots. The difference is too small for a statewide race,” Bergen County Election Commissioner Richard Miller was quoted as saying. “It would be absurd for anyone to call this race.”
Miller said his team won’t be finished with the ballot count until Wednesday because timely mail-in ballots are accepted until July 14 by election officials statewide.
Other commissioners told the Shore News Network, off the record, that every vote will be counted, regardless of the Associated Press calling the race.
“We have a legal job to do and we just don’t stop counting ballots because somebody in the media called a race,” one election official was quoted as saying. “Every vote counts.”
Mehta’s campaign refused to give a statement on his perceived election victory to the Network.
“Rikin Mehta has not won the primary,” his opponent Hirsh Singh told the Network. “There are upwards of 100,000 outstanding ballots that have not yet been counted.”
Singh said he’s not ready to concede to Mehta until all of the ballots across the state have been counted and every voice in New Jersey has been heard.
“Just like every other election in our nation’s history, we wait until every voice is heard before determining a winner,” he said.
Singh told Shore News he was in contact with election board officials across the state after reading the Associated Press story. He said the AP did not call him for a comment on the story.
Election officials cited by the Network said a winner in this race may not be known until July 22 for sure.