UH OH: Polling Problems In New Jersey

Polling problems are cropping up around the Garden State as New Jersey voters attempt to cast their ballots in races including the U.S. Senate contest between incumbent Democrat Bob Menendez and Republican challenger Bob Hugin. Rush Limbaugh speculated Tuesday that polling problems in New Jersey could indicate political malfeasance.

We will continue to monitor this developing situation.

NJ.com reports: “New Jersey voters have been heading to the polls in full force Tuesday with reports of long lines at some locations and scattered problems with casting ballots. The most common issues so far involve the change in mail-in ballots, polling machines not working and voters being turned away or being forced to use provisional ballots. Voters at one polling locations found the doors locked at 6 a.m. when voting started.”

Who would have guessed that blue New Jersey of all states would have polling problems?

Here are some of the problems archived by NJ.com in real time. According to the site:

“Polling place locked up, gets late start in Somerset County…

Voters in Middlesex and Mercer counties have reported problems with voting machines being down. Those voters were forced to cast emergency ballots, which are used in the case of a malfunction. Emergency ballots are different than provisional ballots, which are used when voter eligibility is in question…

Mercer County Board of Elections officials said the machines were being replaced at 10:30 a.m., and all voters until then would cast emergency ballots, which will be counted.

Franklin Zahn of Old Bridge said he faced the same issue at the South Old Bridge Community Center at 6:30 a.m., but was turned away and not given an emergency ballot.

The machines were replaced after 9 a.m. and he was able to cast his ballot via machine, but did not know if other voters were able to make their voices heard…

“She can’t find my name and shrugged, like, ‘too bad,'” said Nicholson, who ran back home to grab her sample ballot for proof. “Once I got back in the right line, I had to open the section myself and find my name because she couldn’t. My name was right there the whole time.”

Nicholson was able to vote, but others were being handed provisional ballots.

“I’m annoyed. It took 45 minutes because no one knew what they were doing. It’s incompetence,” Nicholson said. “It’s not what you want when you’re trying to vote before work, and it’s going to be worse after work.’…”

NJ.com passage ends

The long list of polling problems in New Jersey could complicate the election. The question is: which candidates will find their chances most complicated by the problems?

Big League Politics’ Larry Schweikart wrote that New Jersey “is pollster Richard Baris’s ‘surprise of the night.’ He thinks Bob Hugin will defeat Crooked Bob Menendez. If so, this could in turn shape some of the House races there to the Rs’ favor.”

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