Voting machine breaks down at Buzz Aldrin polling site for Montclair’s Ward 1, District 6
A voting machine at Buzz Aldrin Middle School for Montclair's Ward 1, District 6 broke down around 6 p.m.
Election officials contacted the county when the machine broke, but did not initially hear back, former Board of Education member Sergio Gonzalez told Montclair Local. Gonzalez represented Vote Montclair at a Montclair Local forum on a referendum question as to whether the community should change from a Type I school system, with a mayor-appointed board of education, to a Type II system, with an elected one.
Councilman Bob Russo said he was told voters were continuing to collect and secure ballots from voters. Procedure calls for provisional votes, on a separate form, to be collected if a machine breaks down. Provisional votes are always counted before totals are certified, but not until after Election Day.
No tallies are considered official until votes are certified, but media and campaigns often "call" elections when it appears remaining outstanding votes aren't numerous enough to overcome a candidate or ballot question's lead, based on votes tallied and known so far.
"The county is aware and they are looking into it," Councilman Peter Yacobellis told Montclair Local. "I hope everyone can hang tight and worst case, vote by provisional ballot."
A county technician arrived at Buzz Aldrin site around 7 p.m., Russo said. It was unclear if the technician was bringing a replacement machine, he said.
A representative from the Essex County Board of Elections declined to comment on the broken machine.
There are two other First Ward districts voting at Buzz Aldrin — District 1 and District 3.
— Talia Wiener