A group of constitutional experts at Rutgers University want to know how fax and e-mail ballots were processed after Hurricane Sandy, and if any voters were disenfranchised as a result of widespread confusion. The Rutgers School of Law-Newark Constitutional Litigation Clinic said today it has sent public records requests to Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno’s office and all 21 counties for information on how the ballots were handled. The clinic claims 75 elections in New Jersey still hinge on votes cast by displaced voters.
“Although emergency action was warranted, Internet and email voting was not the solution,” said Penny Venetis, a law professor of co-director of the clinic, said in a statement. “New Jersey law does not permit Internet voting.”
In the days after Hurricane Sandy, Guadagno issued six directives intended to help people vote, including allowing people to request mail-in ballots by fax and e-mail. Gov. Chris Christie said those measures worked well and the election went smoothly.
But many county clerks said they were overwhelmed by electronic ballot applications, causing some residents to receive busy signals or error messages. The problems forced Guadagno to allow voters to receive and submit electronic ballots until the Friday after Election Day, but voting rights advocates still believed many residents were disenfranchised.