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New Jersey to investigate county election after votes counted twice

The error reportedly altered the results of a local school board election.

Published: January 30, 2023 9:22am

Updated: January 30, 2023 11:54am

The New Jersey attorney general has announced an investigation into the 2022 general election in Monmouth County after some votes were double-counted, possibly flipping the outcome of a local school board race.

Democrat Attorney General Matthew Platkin and Civil Rights Director Sundeep Iyer said last week that the state retained former Attorney General Peter Harvey and his law firm on a pro bono basis to investigate Monmouth County's administration of the November election and provide recommendations to improve future elections. 

"Based on public reports regarding the 2022 General Election in Monmouth County, a full investigation is warranted to encourage and preserve public trust in our elections, including recommendations for reforms to benefit the conduct of contests statewide," Platkin said.

The county's voting vendor Election Systems and Software said that the results of a non-partisan school board race were altered due to an error in Ocean Township, which has a population of nearly 28,000, according to census data.

"A technician inadvertently loaded votes twice in error," company spokesperson Katina Granger told CNN earlier this month. "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 top three school board candidates go on to win seats in the local election, and candidate Steve Clayton finished third in November with 3,523 votes. Candidate Jeffrey Weinstein came in fourth with 3,503 votes. Weinstein jumped ahead of Clayton by one vote after the problem was discovered, the New Jersey Globe reported

Clayton, a school board member from 2015 to 2018, said he was "shocked" by the error and is "exploring" his options with an attorney.

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