A possible case of election malfeasance is under investigation in New Jersey, where 56 voting machines in Essex County were shut down without the votes being counted during a pivotal and tight race for governor where Republican Jack Ciattarelli challenged the Democrat incumbent, reported News 12.
Essex County Clerk Christopher Durkin told News 12 reporter Tony Caputo that “you can call it poll worker error and there will be an investigation into why this happened.” Durkin also asked residents “not to jump to conclusions” because “this happens in every election.”
#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
The “time frame” for releasing the vote count from the machines is unclear. Durkin said that “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 issues the order and then we’re able to go and retrieve those results.”
The suprisingly close race between Democrat incumbent Phil Murphy and Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli had been been called for Murphy, but according to Ballotpedia, he maintains a lead of only 44,000 votes.
Ciattarelli has not conceded, reported Fox News.
In a video posted to Twitter, Ciattarelli argued that Governor Murphy’s “victory speech last night was premature” and that “no one should be declaring victory or conceding the election until every legal vote is counted.”
Time for another Jack Chat.
And this might be the most important one yet, so please watch and share. pic.twitter.com/Nmc03ATpTV
— Jack Ciattarelli (@Jack4NJ) November 4, 2021
Ciattarelli’s communications director, Stami Williams, has argued that “it’s irresponsible of the media to make this call when the New Jersey Secretary of State doesn’t even know how many ballots are left to be counted.”
Fox News reported that “the Ciattarelli campaign has not indicated whether it would seek a recount in the tight race, instead opting to see how the rest of the voting plays out before deciding on their next course of action.”