Election officials in Monmouth County has asked the state Division of Elections to recertify election machines and software updates annually to avoid a repeat of the failures of the 2022 general election when a human error caused by Election Systems & Software (ES&S), the county’s voting machine error, resulted in the double counting of votes in some towns.
A joint statement issued by County Clerk Christine Hanlon, Superintendent of Elections Chris Siciliano and the members of the Board of Elections urged the state to require recertification of election systems – including election machines and software – both annually and whenever there is a modification to the election software.”
They also want the state to immediately recertify election software from the Omaha-based ES&S, a major voting machine manufacturer across the U.S.
A spokesperson for ES&S, Katina Granger, admitted on Tuesday that one of their technicians improperly installed election software in July that caused six districts in Belmar, Fair Haven, Ocean Township and Tinton Falls to double count votes.
In a race for Ocean Township Board of Education, where Steve Clayton had unseated incumbent Jeffrey Weinstein by 20 votes, Weinstein may have won by one vote.
“Monmouth County Election Offices also ask the state to create a new state mandated test and checklist to perform before elections to ensure the election software works properly,” the election officials said. “Monmouth County followed the current state protocol to test the system prior to the 2022 General Election, but the only current tests provided by the state would not catch the step missed and acknowledged by ES&S which allowed votes to be counted twice.”
The officials said that ES&S is “among a limited number of election system vendors with required state certification.”
“Our top priority is ensuring the integrity of the voting process for the residents of Monmouth County, so these important changes to the state election process are critical,” they said.
Hanlon is a Republican, Siciliano was a Democrat until swicthing to unaffiliated, and both parties hold an equal number of seats on the Board of Elections.
The Monmouth County Board of Elections plans to seek a court-ordered recount. Senate Majority Conference Leader Vin Gopal, a Monmouth County Democrat, has asked the New Jersey Attorney General and U.S. Attorney to launch an investigation.