Primary turnout light, problems few at NJ polls
TRENTON — Voter turnout was light for Tuesday's primary around New Jersey with few reported problems.
Republicans and Democrats are voting to nominate their gubernatorial candidates for November. All seats in the state Legislature are up for election this year.
New Jersey 101.5 will have results Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.
At the Adelphia School in Howell, turnout was very light and only 19 people had voted by 10 a.m. after the polls had been open for four hours.
Hunterdon County Clerk Mary Melfi told New Jersey 101.5 there was an issue with the polling place in Alexandria and voters learning it had moved from the middle school to the high school. Melfi said the new location allowed for better access.
Mercer County Clerk Paula Sollami Covello said vote-by-mail was also very low with only 461 ballots returned for the primary. By comparison, 14,444 ballots were returned for last November's general election.
Turnout in Ocean County was light, according to County Clerk Scott Colabella, who said primary votes for some municipal and county offices could increase turnout in Lakewood, Toms River and Brick.
The Lakewood Scoop reported a power outage around the industrial park area that affected 3,000 customers. Primary voting was able to continue thanks to battery packs in the machines.
Gov. Chris Christie, who did not endorse a candidate during the primary, said he cast a ballot for his lieutenant governor, Kim Guadagno at his polling place in Mendham.
After casting her ballot in Monmouth Beach, Guadagno said she is confident in new protocols that make sure the election equipment is safe, according to NJ.com. Guadagno said the state's 11,000 voting machines are not connected to the internet.
"The State is constantly collaborating with federal, state and local partners, as well as other third party security organizations, on securing New Jersey’s voter registration and election systems," Stephanie Raphael, spokeswoman for the NJ Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness said in a statement. ". We are continuously working to proactively assess and enhance other controls that protect New Jersey’s election processes, including cyber vulnerability tests with the US Department of Homeland Security on a weekly basis."
The polls are open until 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Adam Hochron and the Associated Press contributed to this report
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.
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