Voting-machine problems crop up in Essex, Somerset and Gloucester counties (NJ)
The Star-Ledger. November 3, 2009. By Julie O'Connor
As voters trickled into polling sites across the state this morning, a handful of voting machines in Essex, Somerset and Gloucester counties had to be replaced due to start-up problems, state officials said.
When poll workers turn the machines on and off, it can cause mechanical malfunctions and delay for voters while back-up machines on hand in every district are trucked over to the polling sites, said Susan Evans, a spokeswoman with the New Jersey Division of Elections.
But so far, she said, the glitches have been minimal and were all resolved. The New Jersey Attorney General's office said it hasn't received any reports of other types of problems at the polls.
"They were typical kinds of problems when they first start the machines," Evans said, adding such wrinkles will likely be smoothed over by the time most voters line up after work today.
This morning's turnout has been relatively slow, but poll workers say it typically gets busier toward the end of the day.
Gov. Jon Corzine cast his vote this morning at the Elks lodge in Hoboken, and Republican challenger Chris Christie at a firehouse in Mendham. Independent candidate Chris Daggett showed up at Fellowship Village in Basking Ridge to vote.
According to recent opinion polls, Corzine and Christie are running neck-and-neck, with upstart independent Chris Dagget also earning a sizable share of votes. A high turnout today is particularly essential for both major party candidates.
Voters with mail-in ballots must hand-deliver them to their county elections boards by 8 p.m., either personally or through a courier, state officials said. Registered voters who applied for the mail-in program and did not return their ballots, never received them or had their ballots rejected can still vote at the polls today.
Regardless of the voting method, any registered voters denied the right to vote can go before a Superior Court judge today and seek a court order allowing them to cast their ballots. Anyone turned away from the polls may call the public advocate's hotline at (609) 826-5090. Attorneys are monitoring voting in 13 counties and are also available at the public advocate's office in Trenton.
"Anybody who's in line at 8 p.m. tonight will be given the opportunity to vote," Evans said.