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11-06-2012, 02:08 PM #1
New Jersey - ACLU says some unable to vote by e-mail, asks judge to intervene
ACLU says some unable to vote by e-mail, asks judge to intervene
By Christopher Baxter/Statehouse Bureau
on November 06, 2012 at 11:48 AM, updated November 06, 2012
Newark, New Jersey
The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey plans to file an emergency petition asking a state Superior Court judge to intervene because of problems with e-mail voting in counties across the state.
Residents were also reporting problems in via social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
"You've got people who are trying to utilize this e-mail or fax voting capabilities the state has said they are entitled to," said Alexander Shalom, policy counsel for the ACLU. "The counties are so overwhelmed with these requests, they are not able to reply. People have e-mailed in requests to get ballots and they are not hearing back."
Shalom said he is seeking a court order allowing people to vote through the Federal Voting Assistance Program, which typically offers absentee ballots to residents living overseas or members of the armed services. The ACLU has received dozens of complaints through phone calls and social media from people having trouble.
“We don’t want potentially thousands of people to lose their right here,” Shalom said.
Over the weekend, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno issued a directive allowing voters displaced by Hurricane Sandy to request mail-in ballots and submit them via fax or e-mail by 8 p.m. today to county elections officials. But the large number of requests suggested people other than those affected by the storm were also taking advantage of the tool.
In Hudson County, Deputy Clerk Janet Lawra said her office was swamped by e-mail requests for ballot, at an average of one every minute. They are concerned that people who are not displaced are seeking to vote by email, clogging up the system.
Nevertheless, she said her office’s servers are still functioning.
“We are being inundated,” she said.
Shalom said one voter protection hotline, 1-866-MYVOTE-1, had received 1,500 complaints from people in New Jersey who tried to e-mail or fax and received no reply or were told they couldn't be processed.
“It’s very, very problematic. It just shows electronic voting is a bad idea,” Rutgers Law professor Penny Venetis said. “In addition to it being very unsecure, the system cannot accommodate electronically-submitted ballots. Paper ballots are the way to go. We know those can be processed.”
Alexi Friedman, Matt Friedman and Jarrett Renshaw contributed to this report.
U.S. Constitution - Article IV, Section 4: GUARANTEES AMERICA FROM INVASION!
11-06-2012, 07:40 PM #2U.S. Constitution - Article IV, Section 4: GUARANTEES AMERICA FROM INVASION!