There is foreign entity looming large in America’s elections. It stands in between U.S. voters casting their ballots and their votes actually being counted. Voting machine companies.
The latest example of voting machine malfeasance comes via the New Jersey governor’s race, where one of the closest contests in the nation has been marred by voting anomalies. This includes technical glitches with electronic poll books and reports that voting machines suddenly went down on Election Day. The votes on those machines were not even counted.
“Essex County Clerk Christopher Durkin says he has a lot of work ahead of him after the votes from 56 districts were not counted Tuesday night in the county,” News 12 reported.
“It’s a mix but they are mostly in Newark, in East Orange, Irvington, Maplewood, Montclair, the majority of those 56 districts,” says Durkin.
#njmornings With NJ Gubernatorial race still SO close, Essex County Clerk Christopher Durkin tells me where the 56 districts in which votes have not been counted are located. Full story on why they have not been counted and what happens next, today @News12NJ pic.twitter.com/lj1w5BANTA
— Tony Caputo (@TonyCaputo) November 3, 2021
“Durkin says you can call it poll worker error,” News 12 reported. “There will be an investigation as to why it happened. He asks New Jersey residents not to jump to conclusions as to why the 56 voting machines were shut down last night without being counted first.”
“Those machines are at the polling places right now,” Durkin continued. “Those machines have to be brought back to the warehouse. A judge will issue an order for us to open those machines, retrieve the results and post those results.”
“But it doesn’t look like that will happen on Wednesday,” the report added.
“We need to compile a list of the results that are missing then need to schedule a hearing in front of a judge and then the judge issued the order and then we’re able to go and retrieve those results,” Durkin added.
Durkin attempted to reassure voters by saying that “issues like this happen in every election in every county,” although such a statement tends to have the opposite effect. “The fact that it’s 56 voting machines in such a close race has obviously magnified this situation,” he said. He said that he expects to have the districts’ results by Thursday night.
“The sooner, the better,” Durkin added.
There were other anomalies on election night, such as a case where over 40,000 votes were added to Phil Murphy’s total in Bergen County after 100% of the votes were said to be reported. Such would be enough to tilt the New Jersey election, as the great majority of those votes went to Murphy in a county that Ciattarelli had been carrying comfortably all Election Day.
There were others who claimed that the electronic touch screens were not recording their attempted votes for Jack Ciattarelli. Watch:
New Jersey stolen pic.twitter.com/5f9JdBpNSj
— _X_treme____R_adical____P_rosperity (@Deplorable38) November 4, 2021
Democratic incumbent governor Phil Murphy is now projected to win re-election in a tight race. Murphy holds a less than 30,000-vote edge in a state that Biden carried by 16 points. The race portends disaster in the 2022 midterms, but the race should serve as a wake-up call to Republicans about the danger of voting machines in election races.
Five districts in Paterson had a similar situation with their voting machines as Essex County, Mayor Andre Seigh also told News 12. The election issues in Paterson, New Jersey were notorious in the 2020 election.
“The troubles plaguing New Jersey’s suddenly all-mail elections, including an alleged voter fraud scheme in Paterson that led to four arrests Thursday, have critics questioning whether election officials can ensure that next month’s primaries will be fair,” the New Jersey Herald reported in June 2020.
“New Jersey has yet to get to its second of three rounds of 2020 elections, and so far we’ve seen misdelivered ballots, ballots dropped in piles in apartment lobbies and ballots burned in a mail truck fire,” the report added. “Meanwhile, clerks’ offices are inundated with a flood of mail-in ballots, plus thousands more applications for ballots, many from unaffiliated voters who clerks said don’t intend to vote in the July 7 primary.”
“It’s a mess,” said state Sen. Declan O’Scanlon.
“Gov. Phil Murphy ordered May’s local elections and July’s primaries to be conducted almost entirely by mail as part of the state’s effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus,” the report noted.
“The allegations out of Paterson may be the most troubling,” the report added. “State Attorney General Gurbir Grewal alleges that Councilman Michael Jackson and Councilman-elect Alex Mendez handled mail-in ballots improperly. Jackson possessed too many mail-in ballots that were not his own and Mendez submitted voter registration applications he knew were false, Grewal claims. Two workers for a third campaign were also charged with election fraud.”
One woman said she was hired by the Mendez campaign to “pick up and drop off numerous stacks of ballots eight days prior to the election,” one lawyer said.
“The Paterson case caught the attention of President Donald Trump, who on Sunday used the fraud allegations as evidence that mail-in voting in the 2020 presidential race would lead to ‘the most corrupt election’ in American history,” the report added. “Trump has been railing against mail-in voting since it became clear some states were moving to that system amid the coronavirus outbreak, though he and others in his inner circle vote by mail themselves.”
Former President Donald Trump weighed in on the unacceptable issues with U.S. elections in 2021.
“Voter ID is very important. Frankly, going to paper ballots is better than anything you can do — paper ballots. Going to paper ballots,” he said.
“You know, Canada uses paper ballots. I think going to paper ballots would be the best thing if you want to have accurate elections. Countries that do paper ballots — solidly watched paper ballots — those are the ones that work,” he continued.
“And stop the mail-in ballots unless it’s for military and overseas or very sick people, people that just can’t vote — and they have to have some kind of a real excuse. I think paper ballots, same-day voting would be great. Those things, you’d straighten out your elections,” Trump continued.
The Democratic Party suffered a significant legislative defeat on Wednesday, as its federal takeover of U.S. elections known as the “For the People Act” went down in the Senate without even a floor debate. The Democrats’ own legislative act concedes the many security issues with voting machines and even would have recommended that the entire country move to paper ballots.
OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.