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Hudson County Clerk Junior Maldonado explains to me how to operate the new digital voting machine. Photo credits: Mark Rotundo

On October 6, The Guarini Institute for Government and Leadership hosted the Hudson County Clerk, Junior Maldonado, and the Hudson County Superintendent of Elections, John Brzozowski, to unveil new voting technologies being added to Hudson County voting sites.

In the Mac Mahon Student Center in the Duncan Skyroom on October 6, Maldonado and Brzozowski displayed new voting equipment for students to learn about and test hands-on. Two new pieces of technology were put on display for students to learn about and use for themselves: a new digital voting booth, and a new electronic poll book that allows voters to sign in digitally.

They also discussed how to sign up and become a poll worker, and work alongside this new and innovative voting technology.

This new digital voting booth from Election Systems and Software (ES&S) is the newest, state-of-the-art voting technology. These machines utilize touchscreen technology, and they’re more easily accessible, with options to change text size, the language between English and Spanish, and the color of the ballot on the touchscreen for those with poor eyesight.

The voting machines have three different ways to calculate people’s votes. The machines implement multiple safety measures to ensure that all votes are counted accurately.

The machine mixes the utility of digital and the reliability of paper ballots. Voters will be able to place a paper ballot in the machine, make their votes on a touchscreen and manually verify their paper ballot before confirming their votes.

The paper ballots will then be dropped in a secure lockbox within the machine, and counted by election officials.

Michael Harper, a Board of Elections clerk, has served at his position for 15 years. Having much experience with using various voting machines, Harper explained that no voting machine in New Jersey could ever be hacked because none of them are connected to the Internet.

Between the ease of accessibility, and greater security, Maldonado believes these machines are a step in the right direction in dispelling voter fraud conspiracy theories.

“We’re making sure that democracy works for all of us,” Maldonado said.

Maldonado is also a firm believer that the United States 2020 Presidential Election wasn’t rigged, and that these machines are working proof of that.

“Getting millions of people, election officials and voters alike, all to be on the same page [for a conspiracy] is nearly impossible,” Maldonado said. “So no, I don’t believe that the election was stolen.”

The Hudson County Clerk’s office has received 51 of these new machines to place in some of the 454 voting districts throughout Hudson County. However, these machines will only be available for early voting.

Early voting begins nine days before election day, beginning on Sunday, October 24.

Replacing all of the current voting machines with these new ones would take many years and cost millions of dollars, according to Maldonado, but he believes that one day these machines will be the new standard.

If you wish to learn more about early voting within Hudson County, becoming a poll worker, or registering to vote within Hudson County, be sure to visit the Hudson County Clerk’s website here.

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