The Jersey Journal


November 11, 2005


All of Tuesday's votes still not counted




Forty-eight hours after the polls closed, the votes still aren't counted in Hudson County.


Hudson County Clerk County Javier Inclán said last night he needs to get a court order to retrieve 27 voter cartridges mistakenly left in electronic voting machines. The machines were sent back to the warehouse for storage with the cartridges still inside, he said.


Meanwhile, Inclán said, workers spent the last two days reading and manually entering votes from 115 of the county's 450 voting precincts after both of the county's digital readers broke within 10 minutes of each other on election night.


Those votes have been counted, Inclán said, but 27 of the county's precincts are still outstanding because poll workers left the voting cartridges in the voting machines, instead of bringing them to the County Clerk's Office as instructed, Inclán said.


If the county had the voter cartridges, workers could manually enter the results. But because the cartridges were taken to the warehouse, Inclán said he's required by state law to seek a court order to retrieve them. He said he expects to go to court early next week.


There aren't enough outstanding votes to change the outcome in any of Tuesday's elections.


This is not the first problem the county has had with the machines. Fifteen cartridges were left in voting machines during the November 2004 election; they too were eventually obtained through court order and then added to the tally.


As for the faulty readers, Sequoia Systems, the company that manufactured the electronic voting machines, took responsibility for the failures and will issue new ones on Monday, Inclán said.


© 2005 The Jersey Journal



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