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New Jersey election result likely to change after discovery of a problem with the vote count

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The duplicate counting of ballots in six voting districts across four towns in Monmouth County, which appears to have changed the outcome of an election for a school board in Ocean Township, was caused by a potential malfunction of the vote tabulation system.

An election official who requested anonymity said that Election Systems and Software (ES&S), the provider of Monmouth County’s voting machines, has admitted to having a flaw in their vote tabulation system that resulted in irregularities that weren’t found until another problem prompted the Board of Elections to start an internal investigation.

The problem was described by the corporation as a “isolated incidence that resulted from a human procedural error.” This information was obtained through an audit of the system.

The New Jersey Globe reported that some results were counted twice in the six voting districts as a result of the tabulation software’s fail-safes malfunctioning, which may have been caused by improper work from the vendor.

“In July of 2022, upon request, ES&S technicians were sent to Monmouth County to investigate reports of slow performance on the county’s internal network. During troubleshooting, technicians uninstalled and reinstalled the county’s election management software,” said Katina Granger, a spokesman for the voting machine company.

The report continues to quote Ms Granger:

“A human procedural error during reinstallation excluded a step, which optimizes the system database and ensures USB flash media cannot be read twice during the results loading process. Because the database was not optimized, the user was not notified when the USB flash media were loaded twice into the results reporting module.”

In the results reporting module, a USB flash drive was “loaded twice,” according to Granger, causing the issue.

“There are reports in the system which document these types of actions, and duplication of results can be detected during reporting and canvas procedures. The USB Status Load Report identifies any USB flash media that have been loaded more than once…” “…Additionally, pollbook data cross-referenced with the ballots cast also shows issues with the number of ballots cast.”

The New Jersey Globe has confirmed that the attorney general’s office has directed the Board of Elections to recanvass and recertify the results of the November 8 general election.

By a margin of 20 votes, 3,523 to 3,503, Steve Clayton defeated Jeffrey Weinstein to become this month’s new president. According to a recent count, Weinstein is ahead by one vote.

Today, the matter was discussed with both candidates. In the other three municipalities, Belmar, Fair Haven, and Tinton Falls, where elections were not close, the final results are unlikely to alter, but the final numbers may.

The software used to scan and tally the voting machines was sold by ES&S to the Monmouth County Board of Elections.

According to Granger, ES&S would “reinstall the election administration system, ensuring that system is customized to detect and block duplicate of USB flash media results.”

She stated that ES&S promises to collaborate with Monmouth County to guarantee that all required actions are taken to assure election accuracy.

About one-third of the counties in New Jersey use voting equipment from ES&S.

Also according to the New Jersey Globe, It doesn’t seem like the attorney general’s office, which represents all 21 county election boards, contacted other counties to let them know that one county’s vote-tallying system was ineffective.

State senator Vin Gopa, a democrat, wants both the federal and state governments to look into the matter.

Independent Writer. Marketing and communications strategist for politicians, artists, public figures & corporate brands for more than 10 years. Contact: @alejandrosbasso (Twitter)
Escritor independiente. Consultor en marketing y comunicaciones de políticos, artistas, figuras públicas y marcas por más de 10 años. Contacto: @alejandrosbasso (Twitter)