NJ ACLU sues to extend voting hours following ‘technical issues and delays’

New Jersey Elections

A judge shot down a New Jersey lawsuit to keep polling places open late Tuesday after reports of technical issues.

Judge William Anklowitz dismissed the suit, filed by the New Jersey American Civil Liberties Union and League of Women Voters of New Jersey, NorthJersey.com reported. Polls were still set to close at 8 p.m.

The New Jersey ACLU said in a tweet that some voters were turned away from voting locations due to technical difficulties and delays.

“Delays caused by technical issues aren’t an excuse to deny voters their right to vote,” the statement said.

The League of Women Voters of New Jersey also joined the lawsuit.

“Operational & technical issues this morning at polling locations around the state made voters leave without casting a ballot,” the LWVNJ said. “We are seeking an extension of polling hours so voters have an opportunity to return and vote.”

The suit asks that locations remain open until 9:30 p.m.

PIX11 News reached out to the New Jersey Secretary of State’s office for further comment. While officials did not comment on litigation, they acknowledged voting issues.

“This morning, the Division of Elections was made aware of issues related to the operation of electronic pollbook at a small number of polling locations throughout New Jersey,” the secretary of state said in a statement. “Most of the state’s approximately 3,400 polling locations have been operating since 6 a.m. without reported incident. The affected sites have been addressed. If any voters were unable to vote due to these issues, we encourage them to return to their polling location and cast a ballot.”

In the Garden State, voters are deciding whether to reelect Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy to a second term or go with Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli.

Polls opened at 6 a.m. and were set to close at 8 p.m., barring an extension.

Already some 700,000 votes have been cast by mail-in ballots or in early in-person voting. That’s about a third of the vote total in 2017.

Murphy has been leading in the polls, has a 1 million-voter registration advantage and has more cash on hand than Ciattarelli in the final days of the race. But the Republican far surpassed his predecessor four years ago in fundraising and has seen the gap in public polls move in his favor.

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