KIYC: Rough debut for new voting machines in Union County

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WESTFIELD -

It was a rough debut for some new, more secure, voting machines in New Jersey, which were tried out for the first time in Westfield, Tuesday. 

The ExpressVote XL machines, which Kane In Your Corner first told you about last week as part of an investigation into election security, caused delays, both at polls and in reporting election results.

Union County Elections Administrator Nicole DiRado says “All I can say is we appreciate everyone's patience, and we welcome their input, as we look to roll out the equipment in the rest of the county next year.”

RELATED: Union County tests out new voting machine
RELATED: Union County to begin using newer, more secure voting machines

As Kane In Your Corner reported last week, the piloting of the new machines in Westfield marks the first step in New Jersey’s efforts to replace its outdated, insecure vulnerable voting machines. Experts say the machines, some of the oldest still being used in the US, can be hacked, and they produce no paper backup in the event something goes wrong.

But election officials say those paper backups were the cause of some of the issues in Westfield. Voters insert blank cards into the machines before making their selections. The machine then prints out a paper ballot for voters to verify. 

DiRado says some poll workers gave the cards to voters too soon, and some of them folded or bent the cards while standing on line. That, in turn, caused machines to jam or fill up too soon, she says. DiRado says in the future, poll workers will be instructed not to provide the cards until voters are entering the voting booth.

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