Some Essex County voting booths fail, causing delays

At least 16 voting booths had to be replaced Tuesday in Essex County, slowing down the voting process for many residents.

Voters began turning out at the Westside Park Community Center in Newark as early as 5 a.m., but when the polls opened at 7 a.m., one of the machines was not working. Paper and provisional ballots were provided until the replacement booths arrived close to 10:30 a.m.

The malfunctioning voting booth made national news, prompting Mayor Cory Booker to check in with the polling place.

According to election officials, the machines may have been deactivated by mistake, which meant they could not be turned on again.

"Half the machines were replaced because board workers turned the key the wrong way and shut off the machine[s],? Carmine Casciano, the superintendent of elections, said. ?Once the machine is shut off, it can't be started anymore."

Despite the setbacks, no voters were turned away and many said they were excited to vote and would wait as long as necessary.

All of the ballots cast Tuesday, including provisional, absentee, and cartridges from voting machines, are guarded by state troopers 24 hours a day until the votes are certified.

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