Fifty-six districts in Essex County, New Jersey, have not posted election results after a problem with voting machines that led to them being shut down until a judge intervenes.
News 12 New Jersey spoke with Essex County Clerk Christopher Durkin regarding the details of the mysterious voting shutdown.
#njmornings With NJ Gubernatorial race still SO close, Essex County Clerk Christopher Durkin tells me where the 56 districts in which votes have not been counted are located. Full story on why they have not been counted and what happens next, today @News12NJ pic.twitter.com/lj1w5BANTA
— Tony Caputo (@TonyCaputo) November 3, 2021
“Those machines are at the polling places right now,” Durkin said.
“Those machines have to be brought back to the warehouse. A judge will issue an order for us to open those machines, retrieve the results and post those results.”
The results from the precincts in and near Newark are unlikely to be determined on Wednesday, according to the report.
“We need to compile a list of the results that are missing then need to schedule a hearing in front of a judge and then the judge issued the order and then we’re able to go and retrieve those results,” Durkin explained.
Five additional voting districts in Paterson, New Jersey, were also impacted, according to the report.
The voting machine problems may be attributed to the change from paper ballots to digital voting. A video on Sunday provided New Jersey voters with a detailed explanation of the process.
VIDEO: If you are voting in New Jersey, here is a detailed electronic voting machine demonstration.https://t.co/YXA84sSgG1
— Darias News (@CaesarDarias) October 30, 2021
The uncounted Essex County votes could prove to be a vital part of determining the winner of the state’s gubernatorial race.
The latest election updates show incumbent Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy and Republican candidate Jack Ciattarelli separated by less than one percent of the votes.
With 89 percent of the vote reported, Murphy held a lead of 1,203,602 votes (49.97 percent) over Ciattarelli with 1,186,985 (49.28 percent) as of 5:10 p.m. EST, according to The New York Times.
Three independent candidates — Madelyn Hoffman, Gregg Mele and Joanne Kuniansky — each had less than .4 percent of the vote.
In Essex County, 90 percent of the vote has been reported.
Seventy-three percent of the vote has gone to Murphy and 26 percent to Ciatterelli, with 152,845 total votes tallied.
The issues with the machines could be due to a variety of issues and New Jersey election leaders have encouraged voters not to jump to conclusions.