Uncounted votes due to a faulty ballot machine could swing third-place results from Tuesday's Newark Schools Advisory Board elections, giving "Children First Team" a shot at a clean sweep.
The cartridge reader inside the ballot machine that collected votes in District 25 in the East Ward malfunctioned and could not readily produce results to be counted, said Eva Yanez, supervisor of elections for the Essex County Clerk's Office. Yanez said, though, all of the votes were recorded on the machine's memory reader, which will be accessed via court order later Thursday or Friday.
Those extra votes could secure a win for Ariagna Perello, who appeared to have lost to Rashied McCreary by 89 votes for the third seat on the board, and a solid victory for the "Children First Team." Perello's running mates, DeNiqua Matias and incumbent Marques-Aquil Lewis, both , according to the unofficial results. McCreary ran alongside Maisel Valentin and Tara Williams on the "Education Matters" ticket, formed by current board member Shavar Jeffries.
In total, 10 candidates vied for three open spots on the nine-member advisory board.
"It's not over," said Lewis, who was elected to his second consecutive term Tuesday. "We still have votes that need to be tallied. We hope the votes will pull her (Perello) through."
Provisional ballots, which will be counted Thursday at 5 p.m., could also potentially alter election results.
There are 212 people who are registered to vote in District 25, according to election officials. Within the entire city, comprised of 111 voting districts for school elections, there are 134,301 eligible voters.
Lewis said Wednesday his slate, backed by South Ward Councilman Ras Baraka, is prepared to ask for a recount once votes are official, which could be as late as Monday.
Check back to Patch for an update on election results as they are made available.