A growing number of American voters are losing faith in the electoral system, and a major glitch involving voting machines in New Jersey will likely only further diminish the public’s trust in the integrity of their elections.
It was announced Tuesday morning shortly after polls in New Jersey’s Mercer County opened that the scanners on all of the Dominion voting machines were not working properly, the Washington Examiner reported.
The county said it was working with the company to address the issue, but in the meantime urged voters to continue to submit ballots as if everything was normal and vowed that all submitted ballots would be properly tabulated later.
Mercer County reveals glitch with Dominion voting machines
“Soon after polls opened this morning, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, poll workers became aware of an issue with the voting machine scanners,” Mercer County’s Facebook page announced. “Voters are being asked to fill out the ballot as they normally would. A contingency plan is in place for all ballots cast at all locations to be scanned at the secure Board of Elections office. Again, ballots will be scanned just as they would at the polling location.”
“Every ballot that has been cast will be counted, no voter will be disenfranchised, and the integrity of the election is intact and secure,” the announcement continued. “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.”
The social media post concluded, “The Board of Elections has advised the county of issues with voting machines. Poll workers will be on hand to walk voters through the process. The board is working with Dominion, the machine maker, to resolve the issue.”
Internal scanners determined to be the problem
According to Philadelphia Fox affiliate WTXF, the malfunction impacted voters at around 130 polling locations across Mercer County, and was believed to involve the scanners that are located inside the Dominion voting machines.
“This morning it was determined that the scanner, which is on the tabulator, was not accepting the ballots,” Martin Jennings, the secretary of Mercer County’s Board of Elections, said in a statement.
“It was determined that what we would do is remove the scanner, people would fill out their ballots just like they would do, but instead of putting it in the scanner they put it in a basket or box where they would have gone had the scanner worked,” he added of the makeshift solution to the problem, which was attributed to a likely programming error and not the machines themselves that are only about two years old.
Officials insist all ballots will be scanned and counted
WNBC reported that the Dominion machine glitch would likely delay the final results of the elections in Mercer County, given that all of the ballots had to be scanned by workers at the county’s centralized board of elections.
“So everybody is going to vote, just like they always do,” Mercer County Clerk Paula Sollami Colello said. “The only difference is instead of scanning it into the voting machine, you’re going to place it in there and we’re going to scan it back at the board of elections tonight.”
The outlet noted that the ballots would be scanned by the same tabulators that handle mail-in ballots and that the counting would be done in an area that is monitored at all times by surveillance cameras and is observable through windows by poll watchers and the general public — though that is perhaps little consolation to already skeptical voters.