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NJ Counties Prepare As Polls Open Tuesday For U.S. Senate Primary

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By Cleve Bryan

BLACKWOOD, N.J., (CBS) – It was unusually busy for August at the Camden County Board of Elections Office as mail-in ballots stream in for Tuesday’s special Senate primary.

“We’ve never had an election like this,” says Commissioner Bob Venuti who is chairman of the Camden County BOE.

The special election is to fill the vacant seat held by former Senator Frank Lautenberg who died in June.

Governor Chris Christie’s decision to hold the special election in October apart from the general election means double the work for county election boards – two elections and two primaries.

Camden County’s 208 polling stations will have to be set up two extra times and then there’s tracking down 1,500 poll workers.

Money is also an issue. The estimated price tag statewide is $24 million.

“Board workers make $200 and there’s approximately 1,500 of them. Normally we have that twice a year, now we’re having that four times a year,” says Venuti.

The State plans to reimburse counties for the extra election costs, but in the meantime budgets must be juggled.

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