New Jersey AG files emergent application for recount and recheck of four towns in county impacted by voting system error

By Artemis Moshtaghian, CNN

The New Jersey attorney general’s office on Friday filed an emergent application in superior court to ask for a full recount and recheck of vote tallies in a handful of towns in Monmouth County, which was impacted by a voting system error during the November election.

The New Jersey attorney general filed the paperwork in Monmouth County Superior Court on behalf of the Monmouth County Board of Elections and the Monmouth County Superintendent of Elections Office to “ask for a full recount and recheck of the four towns (Belmar, Fair Haven, Ocean Township, and Tinton Falls) affected by Election Systems and Software’s (ES&S) election software problem that allowed some votes to be counted twice,” according to a statement from the Monmouth County election officials.

“The integrity of the voting process remains the top priority of Monmouth County Election Offices,” the statement continued.

CNN has reached out to the state attorney general’s office for comment.

As CNN previously reported, a voting system error that caused some votes to be double-counted altered the results of a local school board race in Ocean Township, a community of about 28,000, according to the 2020 Census. The reporting error could flip the outcome of the non-partisan race.

The reporting error during the November election in Monmouth County occurred when votes were uploaded from a USB flash drive, according to a statement from Election Systems and Software, the county’s election system vendor.

“A technician inadvertently loaded votes twice in error,” ES&S spokesperson Katina Granger previously told CNN. “Typically our software blocks this from happening. Unfortunately, a human error in a July software reinstallment missed the step that would have flagged the mistake.”

The anomaly was limited to Monmouth County, Granger said, and ES&S reviewed the data at the county’s request and found the problem.

The error during the software reinstallation prevented the system from notifying officials that data had been uploaded twice at the time the error occurred. A later audit of the election database revealed that the votes had been loaded twice, ES&S said. A single race was impacted, the company said.

The company has said it would reinstall the election management software to ensure the system is optimized to detect and block the duplication of results and “work with Monmouth County to ensure all necessary steps are taken to ensure election accuracy.”

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CNN’s Eric Bradner and Omar Jimenez contributed to this report.

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