Passaic County Election Superintendent Shona Mack-Pollock on Tuesday locked hundreds of electronic ballot books inside the voting machines; now she is asking for a court order to get them out again.
The poll books, which are new technology for the state as of this election, are intended to be secured and carried in designated carrying cases, but Mack-Pollock said the vendor providing the cases to Passaic County could not deliver them in time for the election. .
Thus, Mack-Pollock made the decision to store the electronic polling records behind the voting machines themselves. But state law requires voting machines to be locked for a period of 15 days after the election, unless a Superior Court judge orders them to be opened, prompting Mack- Pollock to seek a court order to open them earlier.
On November 10, his request indicated that “the Superintendent of Elections of Passaic County, in the presence of two bipartisan commissioners from the Passaic County Election Council, [will] open the voting machines and retrieve the electronic ballot records used in the general election of November 2, 2021, at no cost to candidates participating in the election, so that these electronic records can be counted and secured.
The outcome of the case, which is due to be heard on Monday, will not impact the election results themselves. The procedures are another sign, however, that the state’s many electoral divisions are still adjusting to new technologies and procedures launched this year.