New Jersey Governor’s Race Plagued by Voting Problems: Major Disruption to ‘Electronic Poll Books’ Reported

Written by Kyle Becker
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As the New Jersey governor’s race goes down to the wire on Election Day with Republican candidate Jack Ciattarelli make a strong late push to keep incumbent Phil Murphy from becoming the first Democratic governor to win re-election in over 40 years.

But as New Jersey voters head to the polls on Tuesday morning, there were reports of major disruption to the electronic voting system reported. The concerning development was reported by 101.5 FM in New Jersey.

“A new system being used at polling places around the state that cost $68 million is to blame for voting problems in the first hours of Election Day, according to one county election commissioner,” the report stated.

“Voters were reporting long lines and saying that they left before being able to vote, although paper provisional ballots are always an option,” it continued.  “Voters this year for the first time are signing an electronic tablet device instead of a paper book. The device relies on an internet connection using a network program called Nighthawk.”

The state’s Division of Elections said late Tuesday morning admitted problems with the electronic pollbooks “at a small number of polling locations.”

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“Most of the state’s approximately 3400 polling locations have been operating since 6 a.m. without reported incident,” a spokeswoman for the division said in response to 101.5 FM. “The affected sites have been or are being addressed. If any voters were unable to vote due to these issues, we encourage them to return to their polling location and cast a ballot.”

Board of Elections Commissioner for Monmouth County Eileen Kean said there were “definitely hiccups taking place today.”

“Yes we are having internet slowdowns and problems and we are working our way through it,” Kean said. “The problem is around the state. It’s not just a Monmouth County problem. It’s tied to the electronic poll books.”

If New Jersey voters experience issues they may cast a provisional ballot or a paper ballot. Issues can be reported to hotlines and tipped to news outlets like BeckerNews.com.

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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.