Preliminary returns show that Maplewood and South Orange voters overwhelmingly favored the Democratic ticket of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in the 2020 U.S. Presidential election.
In Maplewood, current results show that Biden/Harris garnered 91.26% of the vote or 11,604 votes, while the Trump/Pence ticket won 7.58% or 964 votes.
In South Orange, ballots showed Biden/Harris receiving 90.75% of the vote or 7,794 votes, whereas Trump/Pence received 7.99% of the vote or 686 votes.
Various third party candidates accounted for the remainder of the Presidential contest votes in both towns.
In 2016, the town’s showed similar, though slightly less robust support for Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine. Maplewood voters cast 9 votes for the former Secretary of State for every 1 vote cast for Donald J. Trump. However, the percentage of votes cast for Clinton/Kaine were just above 82% as a number of locals (more than 5%) did not choose a presidential candidate and a significant number of others chose third party candidates such as Jill Stein and Gary Johnson. The vote count for Maplewood was 9,940 for Clinton and 1,161 for Trump, with 159 votes for Jill Stein and 120 for Gary Johnson. A smattering of other candidates collected 29 votes.
In South Orange, the 2016 ratio was closer to 8 to 1, with 6,717 votes cast for Clinton, and 827 votes cast for Trump, 91 for Jill Stein and 89 for Gary Johnson. Other assorted candidates garnered a total of 22 votes.
The only hotly contested local race in 2020 is for South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education.
In Maplewood, BOE tallies showed a clear lead for Susan Bergin and Courtney Winkfield. In somewhat distant third place (the top three vote-getters win seats), Deborah Engel leads Elissa Malespina by 114 votes.
In South Orange, Bergin and Winkfield had a similar, seemingly insurmountable lead with Malespina trailing several percentage points behind but 76 votes ahead of Engel.
A representative at the Essex County Clerk’s Office said that they will continue to collect any ballots postmarked by election day through November 10. At that time the County will then begin counting provisional ballots — those cast in person on the day of the election. Provisional ballots need to be counted by November 21 and the election must be certified by November 23.