Home>Campaigns>Judge orders recount in Monmouth County after some 2022 votes were double-counted

Superior Court Judge David F. Bauman. (Photo: New Jersey Globe).

Judge orders recount in Monmouth County after some 2022 votes were double-counted

Attorney General is investigating ES&S after software installation issues produced irregular election results

By David Wildstein, February 02 2023 4:46 pm

A Superior Court judge today ordered a recount of some voting machines in four Monmouth County municipalities after errors with the installation of voting machine software from Election Systems and Software (ES&S) caused some votes to be double counted in the November 2022 general election.

That could change the outcome of a school board race in Ocean Township, where Steve Clayton unseated incumbent Jeff Weinstein by 20 votes and was sworn in last month; unofficial tallies now put Weinstein ahead by just one vote.

Election officials said that the recount will be held on February 8.

In his decision, Judge David Bauman relied on a New Jersey Supreme Court decision that election laws should be interpreted liberally as a reason for recounting and rechecking voting machines in Ocean Township, Belmar, Fair Haven, and Tinton Falls even though the deadline had passed.

“The public interest in (the) finality of counting votes and election outcomes, in this instance, has not been shown to be strong enough to warrant strict enforcement of the provisions of (the statutes) … where, as here, the counting error appears to have been derived from a unique confluence of mechanical and human error, and no one on this record opposes the prayers for relief,” Bauman wrote in his ruling.

He said concerns by election officials that they had “reason to believe that an error was made in counting the votes” were persuasive and was helped by some candidates in the election speaking up in court and asking for the recount.

Bauman also said that the deputy attorney general, Dominic Giova, assuaged his concerns that the investigation into ES&S launched last month by Attorney General Matt Platkin might be compromised by the recount.

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