State of New Jersey

New Jersey Mercer County Tabulating Machine Failure Challenge

Murranko v. Mercer County Board of Elections

Lawsuit filed by former Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dana Wefer on behalf of 10 New Jersey voters arguing that a failure of the county’s tabulating machines and a lack of an organized response by the county board of elections led to the disenfranchisement of at least 759 voters on Election Day in 2022. 

Due to a change to the ballot in early October 2022, all pre-printed ballots used on Election Day across Mercer County had a different ballot ID number than the tabulating machines were programmed with, leading to these ballots being rejected by the tabulators. Mercer County voters who arrived in the first few hours of Election Day were told to vote with provisional ballots as a result, which are typically provided to voters whose eligibility is in question. At 8 a.m. EST, the county changed course and switched to providing the pre-printed paper ballots with instructions to feed completed ballots into the tabulators manually. 

The plaintiffs claim that the New Jersey District Board workers’ lack of training on how to handle paper ballots led to bags of votes being misplaced, machines and bags of votes being improperly sealed and over 1,500 votes being left in behind in tabulators up to six days after the election. The plaintiffs further allege that the county board of elections did not maintain the necessary chain of custody documentation for the ballots received on Election Day, leaving the board with no records on the number of ballots counted and certified during the 2022 election. 

The plaintiffs argue the board’s actions violate the New Jersey Civil Rights Act, U.S. Civil Rights Act, the New Jersey Constitution and the U.S. Constitution by failing to administer the 2022 election in a fair and transparent manner. The plaintiffs ask the court to order that the defendants correct all discrepancies regarding 2022 election results, train future New Jersey District Board workers on how to count paper ballots and develop a plan in the event of a future machine failure.

STATUS: One motion is in progress before the trial court.

Case Documents

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