Some County Inboxes Too Full for New Jersey Email Voters
New Jersey is encouraging residents displaced by the superstorm Sandy to vote by email, but some voters are finding their county clerks' email inboxes too full to take their votes.
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Updated 4:10 p.m. Nov. 6: New Jersey has extended the deadline for voters displaced by the superstorm Sandy to turn in their ballots by email or fax. Voters may return their ballots by 8 p.m. Nov. 9, the Record reported. Displaced voters still need to apply for an email ballot by 5 p.m. today.
Some New Jersey residents attempting to vote by email are encountering full inboxes or aren't getting responses, Buzzfeed reported at 11:48 p.m. Nov. 5.
Because so many New Jerseyans have been displaced by the superstorm Sandy, New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno passed a directive allowing voters to email or fax in an application to vote electronically, and then email or fax their choices to their county clerk before 8 p.m. today (Nov. 6).
In some counties, however, the process isn't exactly working as planned, Buzzfeed found.
The official email address for Essex County Clerk Chris Durkin, email@example.com, appears to be full. When TechNewsDaily sent a message to the address, we received a mailer-daemon notification. Durkin posted to the West Orange, N.J., Facebook page that voters should contact his personal Hotmail account, but that information doesn't appear in his office's website. TechNewsDaily hasn't received a reply nor a bounced message from Durkin's account.
Buzzfeed also reported the email address displaced Morris County voters are supposed to contact, firstname.lastname@example.org, isn't receiving messages. At 9:25 a.m., TechNewsDaily sent the address an email asking for comment and hasn't received a reply nor a bounced email message.
Even in counties where emails aren't bouncing, some voters may be running into other roadblocks. Buzzfeed emailed with a Monmouth County voter, Keirsten Mahon, who submitted an email application for an electronic ballot yesterday at 1:45 p.m. — the first step to New Jersey's email system for Sandy-displaced voters. Mahon evacuated her home and is staying in Washington, D.C. As of midnight today, she hadn't received a response, Buzzfeed reported.
Soon after Guadagno announced New Jersey would allow residents to email in their votes, experts began criticizing the move. The system is vulnerable to fraud and lost votes, as TechNewsDaily previously reported.
In addition, the directives don't make it clear whether the electronic votes need to be accompanied by a paper ballot, although New Jersey law says electronic votes only count if voters also send in a paper vote. NJ.com reports paper ballots are required.
There is a more secure way for New Jersey voters who are far from home. Guadagno passed another directive allowing voters to cast ballots at any poll in New Jersey. New York voters may do the same in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced yesterday. Such directives may only useful to those who did not evacuate far outside of the state, however.