NJ officials ramp up security for Election Day
With voting locations across New Jersey opening at 6 a.m. on Tuesday election security is being ramped up on multiple fronts.
New Jersey State Police Superintendent Pat Callahan said Monday afternoon the Cyber Threat Intelligence Unit has been monitoring conditions and “the last intelligence dissemination report that I received indicated absolutely no threats uncovered."
He said in preparation for activity at polling sites across New Jersey, the State Police Emergency Operations Center will activate at 6 a.m. Tuesday morning and “we will also have our Cybersecurity and Communications Integrations Cell (within the state Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness) up and running to monitor any type of cyber-threats to the election.”
New Jersey Secretary of State Tahesha Way, who oversees the Division of Elections, said as far as the voting machines themselves are concerned it is highly unlikely “there could be any potential hacking, there’s the security protocols that are in place, the seals, (on the voting machines themselves) and the counties have been trained and have provided their security plans.”
She would not give specifics about what kinds of security plans have been developed for polling locations and county board of elections offices but said that no bonafide cyber-threats have been received by authorities.
Acting Attorney General Andrew Bruck said while police won’t be actively be patrolling voting locations county superintendents of elections and their staff may remove anyone causing a problem or violating New Jersey election laws or in any way, or unlawfully interfering with voting operations.
He noted election officials certainly have the option to call police if it becomes necessary.
He said each county prosecutor has been instructed to designate an assistant prosecutor to serve as the principal point of contact on matters relating to the election and facilitate communication with law enforcement in the event of an issue.
Residents with concerns can call the division of elections Voting Information and Assistance Line at: 1-877-NJVOTER (877-658-6837) or they visit the online Jersey division of elections voter information portal.
Officials note if there is any kind of emergency situation at a polling location citizens should immediately contact local police.
Bruck said free and fair elections “are the cornerstone of our democracy and law enforcement is committed to ensuring all eligible NJ voters can cast a ballot without fear, intimidation or coercion.”
You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com.