A spokesman for Republican Steve Lonegan’s campaign tells WABC that the campaign is “actively investigating countless reports of voter disenfranchisement” in Wednesday’s New Jersey special Senate election.
Lonegan’s campaign solicited information from New Jersey residents unable to vote through the day, as many contacted the campaign reporting that a polling station in Morris County (in northern New Jersey) had been closed early in the morning. Individuals assigned to that state were allegedly denied the right to vote and turned away.
Morristown was not the only city with problems, however, though the campaign is still gathering information. Other reports allege that individuals registered to vote in some locations discovered upon arriving at their designated polling places that their names were not on the voting rolls–and could thus not use the voting machine itself. Poll operators then allegedly collected “write-in” votes from these individuals.
In addition to the isolated instances of problems at the polls, voters who had yet to find their polling location found themselves struggling to find the information online today, as the New Jersey Department of State website’s online polling locator failed to work for many trying to use it for most of the day. Those in charge of the website report that a high influx of traffic to an aging website not routinely suffering from bandwidth issues kept the site from functioning properly. The state ultimately had to replace their locator with one run by the Pew Center in order to continue servicing voters trying to find their polling stations.
Among other voting irregularities, the campaign reported that some Newark residents have challenged Mayor Cory Booker’s legal voting location, given allegations this past week that the mayor is falsifying his address–allegations that Lonegan asserted he believes.
Former Bogota, NJ Mayor Steve Lonegan, a conservative Republican, is running against Newark Mayor Cory Booker for the Senate seat vacated by the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg. After a contentious campaign season, the Star-Ledger reported earlier Wednesday that voter turnout in Republican strongholds appeared “light,” while Newark, the greater Essex County area and other blue regions saw larger numbers during the work hours. Such reports make even more essential the need for sufficient oversight at polling stations–especially during the evening, when voters leaving work are more likely to hit the polls. Polls close in New Jersey at 8 PM.