November 6, 2012
New Jersey’s emergency experiment with email voting hasn’t fared well. One election official described it as a “catastrophe” and voters are complaining that computer glitches are blocking their last-minute efforts to obtain electronic ballots. An avalanche of requests for email ballots that overwhelmed county clerks’ offices forced the state to extend its email voting deadline to Friday afternoon at 8 p.m., though email ballot requests had to filed by 5 p.m. ET Tuesday.
“It has become apparent that County Clerks are receiving applications at a rate that outpaces their capacity to process them without an extension,” said Lt. Gov. Kim Guadango in her order extending the deadline.
Several election officials say misunderstanding is at the root of the problem: Email ballots are only permitted for residents displaced by Superstorm Sandy, but many who are not displaced are nevertheless deluging the system.