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Steve Clayton. (Photo: Steve Clayton).

Judge orders new candidate seated after ES&S screwup changes outcome of ’22 election

Election Systems & Software system failure that counted some votes twice led to a court-ordered recount

By David Wildstein, February 23 2023 2:42 pm

An election involving Election Systems & Software voting machines that double-counted votes in four Monmouth County municipalities in the November 2022 general election has resulted in a judge ordering one of the winners to be removed from office.

Steve Clayton won a seat on the Ocean Township Board of Elections by 20 votes against incumbent Jeff Weinstein and was sworn into office last month.   A court-ordered recount made Weinstein the winner by four votes.

Superior Court Judge David Bauman has now signed an order revoking Clayton’s certificate of election and instructing the Monmouth County Board of Canvassers to issue an election certificate to Weinstein.

In a move that put his faith in democracy ahead of a personal agenda, Clayton has conceded the election.

“I called Jeff to congratulate him.  No one could have ever imagined what a roller coaster this has been for all involved,” he said.  “While I’m within my legal right to challenge the results, our town shouldn’t have any more uncertainty, Jeff won the seat, and I wish him and the Board of Education the best.”

Attorney General Matt Platkin announced last month that he had launched an investigation into ES&S.   The company had admitted that its’ own programming error led to incorrect election results in Monmouth County.

Results in Belmar, Fair Haven, and Tinton Falls were unchanged by the recount.

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