Union County Clerk says voting machines are unreliable; encourages voting by mail

Citing concerns over the vulnerability of New Jersey’s electronic voting machines raised in a Princeton University professor’s report, the top Union County election official is encouraging residents to vote by mail.

Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi today reminded voters that the Clerks Office will be open Saturday to hand out last minute absentee ballots before the November 4th, saying that she didn’t feel confident that all votes would be counted accurately by the current stock of machines. She plans to redeploy her agency’s staff to deal with the expected increased volume of paper ballots.

Rajoppi had asked the state to investigate tallying errors she found in the voting machines, manufactured by Sequoia, during the February presidential primary. No investigation took place, however.

“The state, despite urging by COA-NJ (the Constitutional Officers Association of NJ) and others, would not agree to an independent test but instead relied on the vendor, Sequoia who reported that poll workers were responsible for the errors which occurred not just in Union County but throughout the state,” she said.

Superior Court Judge Linda Feinberg had requested that Princeton University computer science professor Andrew Appel compile a report on the status of New Jersey’s voting machines. He and other researchers found several flaws in the machines and warned that they’re easy to tamper with.

“I believe the state, who hired their own consultant to review the Princeton report, should own up to problems with the machines. Perhaps the problems do not, as a NJ Division of Elections employee said, rise to the level of ‘overturning an election,’ however, voters deserve a transparent process and greater confidence in their voting machinery than is now provided. Despite the outstanding job done by county election officials across the state,” said Rajoppi. “If there are problems in the design of the voting machine, there is a problem. An alternative is of course to vote by mail.”

A spokeswoman for the Division of Elections could not immediately be reached for comment.

Union County Clerk says voting machines are unreliable; encourages voting by mail