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Some votes were counted twice in 4 NJ towns — and one race’s result may change

Some votes were counted twice in 4 NJ towns — and one race's result may change

An issue with a tabulation system brought about votes from November’s election to be double-counted in six Monmouth County, New Jersey districts, unfold throughout 4 towns — and may change the result of a faculty board race in Ocean Township.

Election Techniques and Software program acknowledged the double-counting in a message to Gothamist. The issue was first reported by the New Jersey Globe political information weblog.

The corporate, which additionally goes by the abbreviation ES&S, described the difficulty as an remoted incident “due to a human procedural error.” It mentioned the issue was found throughout a evaluate of its election database prompted by a request from Monmouth County, and restricted to races there. It additionally mentioned the error solely affected the end result of a single race.

“The integrity of elections are ultimately protected by a series of checks and balances, and we’re grateful for the review that revealed this human error,” spokesperson Katina Granger wrote.

ES&S didn’t say what prompted the county’s request. The Monmouth County Board of Elections workplace directed messages to spokesperson Karla Bardinas, who hasn’t but returned a name positioned Wednesday. However the Globe, in a separate report, mentioned former Belmar Councilman James Bean filed a public data request in November after noticing inconsistencies in election outcomes. It cited Bean saying he reached out to officers for weeks however didn’t hear again from the county’s superintendent of elections till December.

On Nov. 28, board Chief Clerk Tracee Johnson wrote to state officers saying a post-election audit hadn’t discovered any points other than stray marks on some ballots and a paper jam that saved one poll from dropping right into a voting machine sleeve.

The problem may reverse Steve Clayton’s 20-vote victory over Jeffrey Weinstein in Ocean Township. The Globe mentioned races in Belmar, Honest Haven and Tinton Falls, the place vote tabulations were additionally affected, weren’t shut sufficient to be reversed.

(*4*) Clayton, who was sworn in this month, advised Information 12.

CNN reported on Wednesday that Monmouth County’s Board of Elections mentioned it will ask a choose to order a recount of the college board race. The issue was first reported by the New Jersey Globe political information weblog run by David Wildstein, a longtime Republican politician and confessed mastermind of the Bridgegate scandal throughout Gov. Chris Christie’s administration.

Sharon Lauchaire, a spokesperson for the lawyer basic’s workplace, declined to touch upon when the workplace first grew to become conscious of the scenario, what steerage it has given Monmouth about addressing the issue, whether or not it has notified different counties utilizing ES&S’ system, and whether or not it’s glad the difficulty didn’t lengthen past the districts already recognized.

In an announcement issued on Wednesday, state Sen. Vin Gopal requested each the New Jersey lawyer basic’s workplace and the U.S. lawyer’s workplace to research the circumstances across the voting tabulation difficulty.

“Reversing the outcome of a race over two months after the election is completely unacceptable and creates an opening for questions about the integrity of elections in Monmouth County, and the state,” Gopal mentioned.

He mentioned county and state officers owe voters “complete transparency on how these errors occurred and what steps are being taken to ensure they never repeat.” Gopal’s eleventh Legislative District consists of 18 towns in Monmouth County, together with Ocean Township.

ES&S mentioned in its assertion {that a} USB drive was “loaded twice into the results reporting module.” It mentioned underneath regular circumstances, the corporate’s software program blocks votes from being counted twice, however a technician missed a step when reinstalling software program in July to deal with a difficulty with gradual efficiency, and that operate wasn’t working.

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