Dominion, printer, Mercer County pass buck on massive NJ voting screw up
Dominion Voting Systems, the company that made the voting machines used by Mercer County, said their equipment is not to blame for the county's problems on Election Day.
Early voters and poll workers at all 232 voting districts in Mercer County were baffled as to why paper ballots would not be accepted after being scanned. County election officials eventually told voters they could still use the ballots to vote but they would be placed into a special emergency slot in the scanner to be tallied later.
The cause of the problem remained a mystery and raised suspicion among voters who called the New Jersey 101.5 newsroom expressing concern about the security of their ballots. They were also suspicious of Dominion, which was at the center of questions raised about voting during the 2020 election.
In a statement, Dominion told New Jersey 101.5 their equipment was not to blame on Tuesday.
"The issue in Mercer County is a printing issue. The Dominion tabulators functioned exactly as they should by rejecting incorrectly printed ballots. We are actively working with Royal Printing and Mercer County election officials on this issue," the company said.
Don't blame us, says printer
Royal Printing Service is the 90-year-old West New York-based family-owned business contracted by Mercer County Commissioners to print all the ballots used in the election. The county paid $301,200 for sample, emergency, provisional, Vote-by-Mail and machine ballots plus all types of envelopes used in for the November 8 election.
The $686,080 contract was approved on May 27, 2021 by the county commissioners for elections between June 1, 2021 and May 31, 2023.
Royal Printing owner David Passante told New Jersey 101.5 there was nothing wrong with the printing of the ballots.
"I have no comment other than to say to you there was nothing wrong with the printing," Passante said.
A county official close to the county election process told New Jersey 101.5 that the problem was determined by election officials to be the wrong ink being used to print the ballots that the scanners could not read.
The contract between Royal and the county states that Mercer County uses Dominion AVC Advantage voting machines.
"Machine ballot faces are to be printed on 50# offset white paper (LOW OPACITY)," according to the contract.