NJ voting troubles: Scanners on Mercer County machines not working
New Jersey 101.5 will have live New Jersey congressional election result coverage tonight after polls close at 8.
Voting machines were down Tuesday morning across Mercer County, leaving voters to fill out paper ballots that would have to be counted at one location after the polls close.
Voters will be able to cast their ballot in any of the 132 voting districts in Mercer County but cannot be scanned properly once it is fed into the machine used to count votes. Voters instead will feed their ballot into a slot at the top of the scanner, according to Mercer County spokeswoman Julie Wilmont.
"We are asking poll workers to use the official ballots because they can still vote them manually, and place them in the slot in the scanning machines and we will count them manually," Mercer County spokeswoman Julie Wilmont told New Jersey 101.5. "We have Dominion and other IT professionals coming down to fix the problem. No voter should walk away."
Wilmont added that there are many provisional ballots in the County Clerk’s Office safe and poll workers are trained to call if they need more.
"Every ballot that has been cast will be counted, no voter will be disenfranchised, and the integrity of the election is intact and secure," Mercer County Superintendent of Elections Nathaniel Walker said in a statement.
"Additionally, provisional ballots are available to those who would prefer to vote provisionally. A provisional ballot can be obtained at a voter’s polling location."
All ballots will be transported to the county Board of Elections office where five high-speed scanners will be used to tabulate the ballots.
Trouble with the ink
Voters in Hamilton and a source involved with the county voting process were told that the ink used to print the ballots could not be read by the scanner.
Walker told New Jersey 101.5 he could not get into specifics about what caused the issue with the ballots but said get he has been talking to both print and machine programming vendors to determine a cause.
When asked if the scanners were tested prior to Election Day Walker replied "absolutely."
"I am trying to ascertain if there's been a change within the algorithm between the time the machines were programmed and the new ballots were printed," Walker said.
Lines developed at many polling places as the problem became apparent and poll workers tried to figure out what was going on.
The polls opened at 6 a.m. Tuesday morning across the state.