Wifi Struggles in New Jersey Contribute to Voting Problems

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Elections|Poll workers successful New Jersey conflict to link to the internet, causing delays.


Nov. 2, 2021, 12:49 p.m. ET

Nov. 2, 2021, 12:49 p.m. ET

Gov. Philip D. Murphy formed  his ballot  astatine  a polling tract  equipped with e-voting machines successful  Long Branch, N.J., past  month.
Credit...John Jones/NJ Advance Media, via Associated Press

Election workers successful New Jersey encountered problems connected Tuesday connecting physics polling books to the internet, resulting successful agelong lines successful immoderate parts of the authorities arsenic voters tried to formed ballots, including successful the contention for governor, officials said. The authorities is utilizing the tablet-like devices for the archetypal clip successful an election.

Known arsenic e-poll books, the devices propulsion a database of eligible voters for each polling determination from a statewide database. They were utilized astatine 139 early-voting sites successful New Jersey. The e-poll books are utilized successful tandem with physics voting machines. It was not instantly wide however wide the connectivity problems were oregon whether they were caused by method issues oregon idiosyncratic error.

Some voters and elected officials expressed vexation implicit the delays, which they said had led immoderate radical to permission polling sites without voting. “I woke up to a telephone telephone astir it,” Mayor Jason F. Cilento of Dunellen, N.J., said successful an interview.

Mr. Cilento, a Republican, said helium went to the lone polling presumption successful Dunellen, a borough of 7,400 radical successful Middlesex County, successful cardinal New Jersey, wherever helium recovered 30 to 40 radical waiting successful enactment arsenic predetermination workers struggled to get the strategy online.

“They were annoyed, of course,” helium said. “Then determination were reboots.”

Mr. Cilento said the authorities should see extending voting hours beyond 8 p.m., though the occupation seemed to person been resolved aboriginal connected Tuesday morning, helium said.

Speaking successful Newark connected Tuesday, Gov. Philip D. Murphy, a Democrat who is seeking re-election, said that determination were nary contiguous plans to widen voting, but that helium would talk to his aides astir the situation.

“Apparently successful immoderate places determination was confusion,” Mr. Murphy said. “I don’t deliberation it was widespread. And by the way, we got 207,000 radical to ballot aboriginal successful person, which is acold much than I thought we would connected Year 1.”

A spokeswoman for the New Jersey’s caput of state, the apical predetermination official, said successful a connection that the problems were isolated.

“Most of the state’s astir 3,400 polling locations person been operating since 6 a.m. without reported incident,” the spokeswoman, Alicia D’Alessandro, said.The affected sites person been oregon are being addressed. If immoderate voters were incapable to ballot owed to these issues, we promote them to instrumentality to their polling determination and formed a ballot.”

Some voters asked what steps the authorities was taking to code the problem.

“Hey @NJGov what’s with the brainsick polling delays?” Carlton Haelig, a pupil astatine Princeton University, said connected Twitter. “WiFi systems down astatine aggregate locations. No 1 has voted astatine my determination since they’ve opened. Polling volunteers telling radical to spell home.”

About 35 minutes later, helium said that helium was inactive waiting.

“They’re checking successful 1 elector astir each 15 minutes,” helium said. “People clap with each palmy effort to usage the cheque successful computer. This is an implicit mess.”

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