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New Jersey Superior Court Judge William Anklowitz. (Photo: Facebook).

Judge rejects bid to extend polling hours

By David Wildstein, November 02 2021 7:39 pm

Superior Court Judge William Anklowitz denied a request to extend voting hours until 9:30 PM, saying there was no evidence that any voter was disenfranchised.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the League of Women Voters of New Jersey asked to extend voting hours after technical issues delayed the opening of some polling locations this morning.

The bid for extended voting hours was opposed by attorneys for Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli, while an attorney for the Democratic State Committee took no position.

John Carbone, an election law expert representing the Passaic County Republicans and State Sen. Kristin Corrado (R-Totowa) called it “a chicken little complaint that the sky is falling.”

The state attorney general’s office opposed keeping all statewide polling locations past 8 PM.

“But that position does not commit the Office or its client offices to opposing relief in individual cases where voters can substantiate that delays at their polling site prevented them from casting a ballot,” a spokesperson said.  “To clarify, neither the Office of the Attorney General nor its client agencies referenced here has the authority to extend voting hours.”

The ACLU/LWVNJ filing claimed that some voters are ““being turned away from their respective polling places despite their good faith efforts to cast a ballot at a time when statute requires the polls to be open and operational.”

“Operational issues should not prevent voters from casting a ballot,” said ACLU-NJ Legal Director Jeanne LoCicero. “We heard reports throughout the day that there were people being denied access to their right to vote and felt the need to take urgent action. We’re disappointed that the judge didn’t agree, but we will always take action to protect one of our most fundamental civil rights: the right to cast a ballot and participate in democracy.”

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