June 11, 2021
Institute and Partners Request Investigation into Problems at Newark Voting Locations
Essex County Election Issues Felt Disproportionately by Voters of Color
NEWARK – The New Jersey Institute for Social Justice and 19 other advocates today sent a letter to Essex County Superintendent of Elections Patty Spango requesting an investigation into problems at multiple polling places in Newark for this week’s primary election and elections past.
During the June 8 primary, multiple polling places in Newark did not have voting machines when polls opened, and it took hours for the machines to arrive. Voters were left having to use provisional ballots – a necessary backup but one that should not have been needed – or return later to try again.
“I went to my Newark polling place at 7:30 on Tuesday morning to cast my ballot only to find that there were no voting machines available,” said Ryan Haygood, President & CEO of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice. “I was told to return later and not offered a provisional ballot until I proactively requested one. Unfortunately, this is not the first time I have encountered voting obstacles in Newark. Running elections is a massive endeavor, but we must do better.”