Jose Sandoval, one of four defeated candidates in Tuesday’s mayoral race, said he plans to legally challenge the election’s results because the paperless machines on which voters cast their ballots cannot verify votes. Sandoval went to a county warehouse Friday morning accompanied by defeated candidate Pablo Plaza and Passaic County elections officials to retrieve a printout from each of the machines used in the election. Mayor Alex D. Blanco crushed Sandoval, his closest contender in the election, by a margin of 4,377 to 1,880. Plaza ended up with just hundreds of votes. The printouts collected by county officials on Friday seemed to confirm those election results, Sandoval said. “This does not prove those machines had not been tampered with,” Sandoval said about the voting printouts.
He said he intends to sue the county Board of Elections to get a recount of the ballots cast last Tuesday, and he wants an expert to analyze the machines to verify that their software has not been altered to skew the vote in Blanco’s favor.
Penny M. Venetis, a Rutgers Law School professor, agrees with Sandoval’s position about the machines. She filed a lawsuit eight years ago challenging the machines’ constitutionality through Rutgers’ Constitutional Litigation Clinic. The suit has been through two trials and is making its way through the appellate courts for a third time. Sandoval’s campaign has called her for advice.
“We think the machines are bad news,” Venetis said. “You can’t verify the vote.”