New Jersey voting machines are about to see some transparency as one judge wants to get to the bottom of a lingering election problem for voters, trying to determine who won the election according to voting machines.
If officials were serious about the trustworthiness of elections and the concerns of the American people, they would get rid of vote tabulation machines. Instead of protecting the public, however, most elected officials are concerned about protecting the machines and the business and wealth behind the machines- and there is simply no other way to explain the steadfastness of protecting machines and marginalizing American citizens.
Vote tabulating Machines have been the topic of concern for both Republicans and Democrats for decades, however, their processes and systems are protected from all public scrutiny as ‘proprietary machines.’
The commonly accepted definition of Proprietary, related to products, is that they are produced under the exclusive legal right of the manufacturer and that the manufacturer has no obligation to divulge any information about the product, its form, or function to anyone unless it contractually agrees to do so.
“While purchasing equipment of a proprietary nature may often have a lower initial purchase price than some non-proprietary competitors, the catch comes in the long-term cost of product support and maintenance as you become a captive sales audience of the manufacturer,” is how Bush Elevator Company describes the situation.
That fact alone that people can not inspect the machines and are ‘active’ should disqualify them from tabulating elections in a free and open society and in a people’s government; however, case after case our judicial system has protected the machines.
According to the national conference on state legislators, “Technology is used throughout the voting process but when most people think of election technology, they think of the equipment used to cast and tabulate votes.
Since the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 required replacing older lever and punch card voting machines, jurisdictions across the country primarily use two types of technology for tabulating votes: optical (or digital) scanners to count paper ballots or Direct-Recording Electronic (DRE) machines.”
There are also ballot marking devices that provide an electronic interface for voters with disabilities to mark a paper ballot. And, a few small jurisdictions hand count paper ballots.
And here is a story where a judge has ordered a machined to be cracked open.
The New Jersey Globe reported that an unknown poll worker in Manalapan County, New Jersey, prematurely removed two USB drives downloading the results from a voting machine, according to Deputy Attorney General George Cohen.
Superior Court Judge David Bauman is allowing the Monmouth County Superintendent of Elections to open the machines.
New Jersey law prohibits the opening of voting machines within 15 days after the end of an election so that results are free from tampering. Only a court order can override that and allow them to be opened.
“One of the drives had incomplete data, while the other had fully downloaded the results, and election officials didn’t know which was which. Due to the confusion, Bauman ordered that the Monmouth County superintendent of elections would be allowed to open the machines,” local news reports show.
Whether he be allowed or ordered, Cohen is opening the machines, which raises questions about when machines can be opened and not be opened.
“The entire process will be bi-partisan,” Cohen told Bauman.
Election officials in Monmouth Count obtained then court order to open a pair of voting machines in Manalapan today after the poll worker failed to get results from Tuesday’s election.
Deputy Attorney General George Cohen said that the poll worker “inadvertently failed to get vote results” before the machine was sealed, but some people believe it was done on purpose to cause confusion about the winner.
According to Cohen, the individual, who was not identified in a short court hearing today, removed two USB sticks before the voting machine before the uploading of results had been completed. As a result, one included results and the other did not – and election officials can’t know which machine they have results from.
This is a fairly routine matter. In New Jersey, a court order is required for election officials to open a machine during the fifteen days after the election. One Democrat and one Republican will be present.
It’s not immediately clear if the one Manalapan district will effect the outcome of the election.
Incumbent Republicans Mary Ann Musich and Eric Nelson are already listed as having won new three-year terms on the Township Committee, according to centraljersey.com. As of Wednesday, they were listed as receiving 8,986 and 8,740 votes, respectively, compared to Democrat Jamie Herr, who received 5,082 votes, and Lisa Lenn, who received 5,056 votes.
There is one seat open for an unexpired term on the Manalapan-Englishtown Board of Education that will be decided by write-in votes after no candidate filed for the seat. The Board of Elections is currently tallying those results.