A bill that would allow elections officials to count votes ahead of Election Day failed in the state Senate on Thursday. After a relatively lengthy debate during which a bipartisan group of senators raised concerns about the legislation, Senate President Nick Scutari pulled the measure from the board after its total hung at 20 yes votes to 16 no votes — one vote short of passage. The bill, NJ S856 (22R), would allow county boards of elections to open and count mail-in ballots beginning 10 days before Election Day and for county clerks to tally in-person early votes 24 hours after that voting period ends. Vote counting was slow in some counties in last year’s election. Because of that, high-profile politicians like Republican gubernatorial nominee Jack Ciattarelli and Senate President Steve Sweeney took more than a week to concede their races. The bill is similar to a measure that was put in place for only the 2020 election, which was conducted almost entirely by mail-in ballot because of the pandemic. But while there were no reported problems with that law, several senators — including one Democrat — raised concerns about results leaking out and giving certain candidates advantages, even though doing so would be a third-degree crime.
New Jersey: Elections officials in two counties won’t turn over voting machine tests, suit says | Anthony G. Attrino/NJ.com
A Bergen County man has filed lawsuits against boards of elections in two New Jersey counties, claiming they have refused his requests to view ballot test reports used to determine the logic and accuracy of voting machines. Yehuda Miller, of Teaneck, filed suit against Bergen and Atlantic counties, claiming in court papers that elections officials have responded to his Open Public Records Act filings, but refused to provide the information he’s requested. “They’re claiming the information is proprietary,” said attorney Walter Luers, who filed a lawsuit on behalf of Miller against the Bergen County Board of Elections. Test decks are used to determine whether voting machines are operating properly, Luers said. Both lawsuits were filed recently in New Jersey Superior Court. In the Bergen County lawsuit, filed on April 17, Miller states he emailed a request under OPRA for copies of ballot test decks used in the 2022 general election for votes cast on election day, mail-in ballots and for early voting. Bergen County elections officials responded test decks are exempt from disclosure under state law because making them public “would jeopardize computer security for future elections,” the suit states.
Full Article: Elections officials in 2 N.J. counties won’t turn over voting machine tests, suit says