Yep, There Have Been Problems With Email Voting in New Jersey

Published on November 6, 2012
by Arik Hesseldahl

As might have been expected, that idea to let displaced voters in New Jersey cast their ballots by email isn’t working out so well.

First there are the technical issues. People requesting voting instructions by email are reporting that they’re receiving bounce-backs, and have been complaining about it on Twitter and Facebook. See these tweets I pulled from’s Storify page. County offices are being overwhelmed with electronic requests, and can’t keep up with the demand in getting responses back to voters.

So the email ballot option in NJ isn’t working out so well. Emails are bouncing back due to full inboxes :-/ #Vote2012 #NJVote
Steph Boogs

@ @ #njvote I faxed&emailed vote by fax app 12am mon.No reply from Essex clerk.their inbox is now full&lines r busy
Dr. Jemour Maddux

disenfranchised thanks to Hudson County being 100% unprepared for Christie’s “email voting.” Thanks New Jersey. #NJVote

They’re also going to have a hard time counting the electronic votes that do come in. Despite the state government’s best intentions to make poll access as flexible as possible under the circumstances, the whole thing appears to be suffering from the lack of time to make it all happen, which is about zero.

And already there’s been an emergency appeal by the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey asking a court to intervene. The ACLU is reportedly asking the judge to allow affected voters to cast ballots via the Federal Voting Assistance Program.

For all the anecdotal complaints arising on Twitter and elsewhere, there are examples where it appears to have worked for some people:

#njvote: Someone had her mail-in ballot returned YESTERDAY, thought she couldn’t vote. County said scan, send by 8pm. #NJ making it work!
Megan Carolan

Now on to the more troubling reports. There has been at least one report of a bit of malware that may be targeting voters in Sandy-struck areas. As GFI Labs notes, one is a file named electioncard1.exe, which is made to look like a regular document file. It is instead an executable file that contains the Rotinom.b Trojan. And that’s just one of them.

Return to: Yep, There Have Been Problems With Email Voting in New Jersey