On its face, the voting irregularities stemming from Primary Election day in Fairfield Township looked like a simple switch-up. Democratic Executive Committee candidates Ernest and Cynthia Zirkle questioned the total votes they received. Upon research, it became clear they weren’t alone in doubting touch-screen Sequoia AVC Advantage voting machines.
Superior Court Judge David E. Krell ruled Monday the Cumberland County Board of Elections must make available a number of documents tied to the voting machine used on June 7.
“The voting machine isn’t going to tell you anything,” said Krell of inspecting the Sequoia machine used at the polling place. However, the associated documentation produced by the machine during the programming process was of interest to him.
To be made available are:
~ any printouts generated as a result of programming after the ballot definition was received
~ any maintenance logs that was printed
~ a maintenance report from the setup diagnostic process
~ any tape produced once the diagnostics were completed and any printing from the tape
~ all printed results from the pre-LAT tests (a machine testing procedure)
Also, Princeton University Department of Computer Science Chair Andrew Appel was approved as an expert witness.
State Deputy Attorney General George Cohen represented the board of elections Monday. He maintained that county Board of Elections Director Lizbeth Hernandez had programmed the machine in accordance with the ballot definition sent over by the clerk’s office.
“We can’t oppose a call for a new election,” said Cohen, who later stated, “It’s because of this unique case we’re not challenging a new election.” He’s referring to the 30 affidavits signed out of the 43 total voters who swear they voted for the Zirkle pair. With that majority in mind, the results were in question, but an expert such as Appel was overkill to Cohen.