Bipartisan board of elections commission to scan Mercer County ballots Tuesday night

One side of the ballot in Lawrence. Voters were given Sharpie markers to fill in their ballot choices. The markers bled through the ballots to the other side. Fortunately, there were no candidates listed in those spots on the ballot. Photo submitted by a Planet Princeton reader.

Early voting results, half of the vote-by-mail results, and some of the in-person paper ballot results will be counted and posted Tuesday night for elections in Mercer County, officials said. The polls closed at 8 p.m. in New Jersey. Poll workers reported a steady turnout in Princeton on Tuesday afternoon, even though the local council race is uncontested. Republicans did not run for council, and the Democratic primary was also uncontested. The school board election is the reason many voters turned out in Princeton. Three incumbents and two newcomers are seeking the three seats available on the school board.

Voters were unable to scan their own ballots in all of the voting districts in Mercer County on Tuesday in the general election due to a Dominion voting machine software malfunction. Voters still filled out the paper ballots as they normally do, but they could not scan them themselves. Instead, voters deposited their ballots into slots in the machines. The machines were then taken to the Mercer County Board of Elections, where the bipartisan commissioners of the board will scan them using high-capacity scanners, Mercer County Clerk Paul Sollami Covello said.

“We have Dominion and other IT professionals investigating the problem with our scanners and we will release information when the investigation is complete,” Mercer County Clerk Paula Sollami Covello said. “Please know that voters have been voting all day.”

Sollami Covello said all of the scanners were tested as part of voting machine inspections, with no problems, and were tested again Monday. “Both political parties in Mercer County have acknowledged today that this process (of counting paper ballots) is transparent and fair,” Sollami Covello said.

The Mercer County Superintendent of Elections is responsible for voting machine inspections, not the county clerk.

Check back on Planet Princeton for election results later. Thank you to readers for reaching out to us today to report what was happening at the polls.