A voting machine tabulation error may flip the results of a New Jersey school board race.
Vote count irregularities were discovered nearly two months after the Ocean Township race was called.
The Monmouth County voting machine vendor, Election Systems and Software (ES&S), is now acknowledging that there were irregularities in the tabulation, which were only discovered after an unrelated issue caused the Board of Elections to launch an internal investigation.
According to a report from the New Jersey Globe, the company called the issue an “isolated incident [that] occurred due to a human procedural error. An audit of the system yielded this information.”
“In July of 2022, upon request, ES&S technicians were sent to Monmouth County to investigate reports of slow performance on the county’s internal network. During troubleshooting, technicians uninstalled and reinstalled the county’s election management software,” Katina Granger, a spokesman for the voting machine company, told the paper. “A human procedural error during reinstallation excluded a step, which optimizes the system database and ensures USB flash media cannot be read twice during the results loading process. Because the database was not optimized, the user was not notified when the USB flash media were loaded twice into the results reporting module.”
Granger said the issue was due to a USB flash media “loaded twice into the results reporting module.”
“There are reports in the system which document these types of actions, and duplication of results can be detected during reporting and canvas procedures. The USB Status Load Report identifies any USB flash media that have been loaded more than once,” Granger continued. “Additionally, pollbook data cross-referenced with the ballots cast also shows issues with the number of ballots cast.”
The paper reports that “Steve Clayton defeated Jeffrey Weinstein by 20 votes, 3,523 to 3,503 and took office this month. A new tally conducted today shows Weinstein ahead by one vote.”
A post-election audit had reportedly missed the problem entirely.