New Jersey

Articles about voting issues in New Jersey.

New Jersey: State sought more money to protect voting machines from hackers. Republicans in Congress said no. | NJ.com

New Jersey’s voting machines are among the nation’s most vulnerable to hacking, and state officials asked Congress for more money to protect their equipment. Republicans who run the show in Washington said no. Both the House and Senate declined to allocate millions of dollars in grants to states when they passed spending bills funding the Election Assistance Commission for the 12-month period beginning Oct. 1. “This is going to be an ongoing need and election officials are going to need a regular stream of funds to combat the threats and defend their systems,” said David Becker, executive director and founder of the Center for Election Innovation and Research, a Washington research group. …  State Attorney General Gurbir Grewal sought more federal help. “I strongly believe that the federal government should be doing more, not less, to ensure our democratic institutions are free from foreign intrusion, and I’m disappointed that Congress disagrees,” he said.

Full Article: N.J. sought more money to protect voting machines from hackers. Republicans in Congress said no. | NJ.com.

New Jersey: How secure are New Jersey’s voting machines from hacking? This report may worry you. | NJ.com

New Jersey has some of the weakest election security in the country, according to a congressional report that placed the blame on former Gov. Chris Christie. New Jersey was named one of the five most vulnerable states to hacking in the report by the Democratic members of the House Administration Committee. The report said New Jersey’s voting machines do not have a paper record, making it “nearly impossible” to tell if they had been hacked and vote tallied changed. It said the state has requested funds from the federal Election Assistance Commission to improve security, and is considering legislation to require a paper trail for all voting machines. The other states with the worst security were Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana and South Carolina. In all, 18 states were vulnerable to hacking, the report said.

Full Article: How secure are New Jersey's voting machines from hacking? This report may worry you. | NJ.com.

New Jersey: State should adopt paper-based voting machines, experts say | NorthJersey.com

It was a discomforting moment last week when a Princeton University computer science professor, in a series of PowerPoint slides, showed lawmakers how he had hacked the type of electronic voting machine most New Jersey counties use to conduct their elections. More jarring still, the professor, Andrew W. Appel, explained that if he manipulated a machine actually in use, election officials would be hard-pressed to detect it because the devices don’t leave a paper trail that can be checked against the electronic tally. “They’re a fatally flawed technology,” said Appel, who was previously involved in a lawsuit that sought to end the use of the machines. “Pretty much everyone knows this now.”

Full Article: New Jersey should adopt paper-based voting machines, experts say.

New Jersey: Lawmakers Consider Switch To Paper Ballot System | WBGO

New Jersey lawmakers are considering whether the voting machines now used in the state should be replaced by a paper ballot system using electronic scanners. Princeton University computer science professor Andrew Appel says the voting machines are vulnerable to hacking. “So we should run our elections in a way that can detect and correct for computer hacking without having to put all our trust in computers. Therefore, we cannot use paperless touchscreen voting computers. They’re a fatally flawed technology.”

Full Article: NJ Lawmakers Consider Switch To Paper Ballot System | WBGO.

New Jersey: Poor Security of New Jersey Election System and Russian Hackers Prompt Move to Revamp | NJ Spotlight

Voting in New Jersey would go retro, using paper, pens and scanning machines, under legislation designed to increase the security of the ballot in the state. Not everyone who testified at the Assembly’s first hearing Wednesday on a new bill (A3991), called the New Jersey Elections Security Act could agree on what voting machines would be best. But all did agree that the state needs new voting machines with a paper trail to allow audits of election results to ensure their accuracy. “We must have an assurance that our votes are accurate and legitimate,” said Assemblyman Vincent Mazzeo (D-Atlantic), both chair of the committee and co-sponsor of the bill. “Where is our democracy without our votes being valid?”

Full Article: Poor Security of NJ Election System and Russian Hackers Prompt Move to Revamp - NJ Spotlight.

New Jersey: Experts stress importance of paper backups for election security | NJTV

Lawmakers on the Assembly State and Local Government Committee heard once again just how good New Jersey’s election machine security is. “New Jersey was one of 12 states to receive a ‘D,’” said Danielle Root, a voting rights manager from the Center for American Progress. Root was one of several election experts to highlight a key deficiency: relying on touch screen election machines that leave no paper record of votes. “Although it’s good that New Jersey adheres to cybersecurity best practices related to voter registration systems, including training election officials and partnering with DHS [Department of Homeland Security] to perform vulnerability assessments on election infrastructure, the state, as the chairman mentioned earlier, continues to use paperless electronic voting machines,” said Root.

Full Article: Experts stress importance of paper backups for election security | Video | NJTV News.

New Jersey: Voting Machines: Is Safe Enough Good Enough? | NJ Spotlight

Although the state’s voting machines aren’t linked to the internet, experts warn that gives officials a false sense of security. What’s needed are machines that deliver a paper audit trail of every vote. The hacking of election results, rumored to have occurred in 2016 and feared to be possible now and in the future, can happen here, say experts. They worry that New Jersey’s current voting process is vulnerable, and the state’s ballot system has been graded among the least secure in the country. Still, the state’s chief election and security officials are confident in the integrity of New Jersey’s voting procedures. Since voting machines are not connected to the Internet, they believe there is no cause for concern. They have no plans to replace equipment that were put into service 15 years ago or longer. Despite this, some legislators and advocacy groups are not convinced. They point out the voting machines in use are relatively antiquated and do not meet recommendations of national experts.

Full Article: New Jersey’s Voting Machines: Is Safe Enough Good Enough? - NJ Spotlight.

New Jersey: State Working To Bolster Cybersecurity Of New Jersey Election Systems | Jersey Shore Online

The New Jersey Department of State Division of Elections, and the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, through its New Jersey Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Cell, are working to reaffirm the state’s commitment to election security. New Jersey Secretary of State Tahesha Way said that they are participating in training sessions, constructing interagency communication channels, and integrating practices to strengthen the security of elections in NJ. “The Division of Elections has been and continues to work with federal partners at the Department of Homeland Security, the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, and other third-party security experts to continuously improve our security posture as the threat landscape evolves. The Department of State is working to ensure that every individual able to cast a ballot in November can do so knowing the state affords a safe and secure system,” said Way.

Full Article: State Working To Bolster Cybersecurity Of NJ Election Systems.

New Jersey: State Adopts Automatic Voter Registration | Bloomberg

Democratic Governor Phil Murphy made New Jersey the latest U.S. state with automatic voter registration at motor-vehicle agencies as mid-term elections loom in November. The legislation was sponsored by Democrats and backed by civic groups that said it would ease a paperwork burden and increase election participation. Republicans in New Jersey, like some elsewhere in the country, said it was a gateway to fraud, with the potential to allow undocumented immigrants to vote. New Jersey’s bill passed both legislative houses along party lines on April 13. Murphy’s predecessor, Republican Chris Christie, vetoed versions in 2016 and 2015, saying the Democratic-led legislature was attempting to increase voter rolls in its favor.

Full Article: New Jersey Adopts Automatic Voter Registration - Bloomberg.

New Jersey: Lawmakers pass automatic voter registration bill | The Hill

New Jersey lawmakers on Thursday passed legislation expanding automatic voter registration in the state. The “motor bill” passed the state Assembly, 50-23, and the state Senate, 24-13.  The legislation makes it so individuals will be automatically registered unless they opt out of the process.  If signed as expected by Gov. Phil Murphy (D), New Jersey would be home to one of the most widespread automatic voter registration programs in the U.S. 

Full Article: New Jersey lawmakers pass automatic voter registration bill | TheHill.

New Jersey: New Jersey Bill Proposes to Give State’s Prisoners Right To Vote | Wall Street Journal

New Jersey lawmakers are proposing a bill that would make the state the third in the country to allow prisoners the right to vote. The bill would let people who are incarcerated, on parole and under probation supervision vote, a change supporters say is critical to addressing racial disparities in New Jersey’s criminal justice system. Under current law, New Jersey residents can’t vote if they are incarcerated or on parole or probation. About 94,000 people currently fall into these categories, according to state officials. Shavonda Sumter, a state assemblywoman from Paterson, N.J., said black residents make up a disproportionate share of the state’s prison population—and stripping them of their voting rights violates constitutional protections that that say people can’t be prevented from voting based on their race.

Full Article: New Jersey Bill Proposes to Give State’s Prisoners Right To Vote - WSJ.

New Jersey: Here’s what Sean Spicer said in New Jersey voter intimidation case | NJ.com

Former White House spokesman Sean Spicer testified there were no signs keeping Republican National Committee staff members away from Donald Trump’s vote-counting operations on Election Night, but party officials knew to keep their distance. “It had been abundantly clear for the six years that I worked at the RNC that the RNC and its employees were prohibited from engaging in Election Day activities, including poll watching, so I intentionally stayed away from all of that,” said Spicer, then a top Republican National Committee official. Spicer’s testimony came as the Republican National Committee sought to end limits on its voter activities imposed 35 years ago as a result of GOP activities in the 1981 New Jersey gubernatorial election narrowly won by Thomas H. Kean. That consent decree expired Dec. 1, but Democrats are seeking to extend it.

Full Article: Here's what Sean Spicer said in N.J. voter intimidation case | NJ.com.

New Jersey: Why everyone in New Jersey might not be counted in the 2020 Census | NJ.com

The 2020 Census is about two years away, but researchers already fear that not every person will be accurately counted. The Census Bureau, which every 10 years conducts its actual count of people as mandated by the U.S. Constitution, has been plagued with problems ranging from budget issues, cancelled tests and a leadership vacuum that has become unusually politicized. It is especially worrisome in New Jersey, which has growing communities of color and immigrant populations that could effectively be disenfranchised, experts say.

Full Article: Why everyone in New Jersey might not be counted in the 2020 Census | NJ.com.

New Jersey: Push to restore voting rights to those with criminal records advances | WHYY

More than 94,000 New Jersey residents with criminal convictions are prohibited from voting, but civil rights groups are pushing for that to change. Blacks make up about 15 percent of New Jersey’s population, but represent about half of those who cannot vote because of a criminal conviction. That disproportionately reduces the political power of black communities, said state Sen. Ron Rice, because of systemic racism in the criminal justice system. “I believe that every New Jerseyan and every public official concerned with the integrity and legitimacy of our democracy should be ashamed that this practice was born in 1844 at a time when slavery was legal and practiced in our state and has continued for 170 years,” said Rice, D-Essex.

Full Article: Push to restore voting rights to those with criminal records advances in N.J. : Courts & Law : WHYY.

New Jersey: Proposed Legislation Could Extend Voting Rights to Convicted Criminals | Observer

State Sen. Ron Rice (D-Essex) on Thursday said he plans to introduce legislation next year that would allow convicted felons, those on probation, people on parole and incarcerated individuals to vote in elections, a bill that would dramatically alter current New Jersey law that prohibits those with criminal convictions from voting. “I will be calling on Governor-elect Phil Murphy and my colleagues to join me,” Rice said. “I ask for their support of our bill to sever the anti-democratic link between the right to vote and the criminal justice system.” A recent report from the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice found that New Jersey currently prohibits 94,000 individuals from voting due to criminal history or incarceration. The report found that a disproportionate amount of those disenfranchized by the voting law are African American. In New Jersey, about 15 percent of the total population is black but about 50 percent of those currently incarcerated in the state are black.

Full Article: Proposed Legislation Could Extend Voting Rights to Convicted Criminals | Observer.

New Jersey: Voting rights issues are no longer simply black and white | Post and Courier

This month’s local and state elections brought the usual dismal news about voter turnout: Fewer than one in four New Yorkers went to the polls. In New Jersey, less than 40 percent did. Virginia had its highest turnout in 20 years and still didn’t clear 50 percent. Even in presidential elections, four in 10 voters stay home. Low turnout rates are partly a reflection of human nature: Voting requires us to suspend logic, since one ballot rarely decides an election, and believe in the power of collective action. That belief is being tested by an increasingly individualistic society, where we are more isolated from our neighbors and less connected to civic organizations. But it’s now also being tested by a most unlikely foe: voting-rights advocates.

Full Article: Voting rights issues are no longer simply black and white | Commentary | postandcourier.com.

New Jersey: Pols Push for Voting Machines that Offer Paper Trail for Every Ballot Cast | NJ Spotlight

Voters across New Jersey are going to polling places today to pick a new governor, select candidates for seats in the state Legislature, and to decide many contested county and municipal elections. But questions have been raised in recent weeks about whether the electronic machines that will be used to count the vote in many places in New Jersey are vulnerable to computer error or even hacking, and lawmakers are pushing for the machines to eventually be upgraded so there’s a “voter-verified” paper trail to back up each vote that is cast on Election Day. To be sure, there’s been no evidence of any widespread voting-machine failure or large-scale tampering leading up to today’s elections in New Jersey, and election officials say there have been no recorded cases of an electronic-voting machine having been hacked in New Jersey during any recent election. What’s more, the machines themselves are not attached to any network so hacking would have to occur in person rather than remotely. But a Princeton University computer-science professor opened the eyes of lawmakers by showing them during a recent hearing in Trenton how voting machines that are used in 18 of New Jersey’s 21 counties could theoretically be hacked manually by someone seeking to make sure an election turns out in a specific way.

Full Article: Pols Push for Voting Machines that Offer Paper Trail for Every Ballot Cast - NJ Spotlight.

New Jersey: Bad voting machines replaced with bad voting machines, forcing use of paper ballots in Allentown | app

Voting machines here have been inoperable all morning, after faulty machines were replaced with new ones that also didn’t work, an election official said. “Voters are voting on emergency ballots,’’ said Allan Roth, chairman of the Monmouth County Board of Elections. “No voter has been turned away. They’re just voting on paper ballots.’’ Software problems were discovered in the borough’s four voting machines early this morning, around 6 a.m., Roth said.

Full Article: Allentown voting machines down, forcing use of paper ballots.

New Jersey: State’s voting machines get less scrutiny than laundry scales, amusements | The Record

Boardwalk “claw” machines. Laundry scales. Boiled linseed oil. All three are subject to more state regulation than voting machines in New Jersey. And with Tuesday’s election for governor — one of the first two statewide contests in the U.S. since last year’s presidential race — some voting-rights activists are expressing concern that New Jersey’s vote could be vulnerable. Despite consumer-protection laws that mandate testing of pharmacy scales, gas pumps, amusement park rides and hundreds of other types of equipment — and regulations governing everything from the size of peach baskets to the temperature at which commercial linseed oil must be boiled — the state has comparatively few regulations on voting machines. It does not require machines to leave a verifiable paper trail. Nor does it mandate audits of elections. New Jersey does limit the types of voting machines counties can choose from, but leaves it to counties to test the machines.

Full Article: N.J. voting machines get less scrutiny than laundry scales, amusements.

New Jersey: New Jersey to replace thousands of aging voting machines | WHYY

Many of the 11,000 voting machines in New Jersey are so old, officials said, they will soon have to be replaced. Amid concerns about hacking, state lawmakers are examining how to make sure new machines will be more secure. While there’s no evidence of hacking, the machines are hackable, said Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker, D-Middlesex. And Princeton computer science professor Andrew Appel said he could quickly break the security seals on a voting machine, replace the chip that records the results, and reseal it so the tampering would be undetectable. “I was able to get a bunch of them and figure out what their weaknesses are,” he said during a hearing before lawmakers Thursday. “So if you have three or four seals on there, it’ll take me 10 minutes to get them off.”

Full Article: N.J. to replace thousands of aging voting machines : Election : WHYY.