New Jersey extends e-mail voting deadline for displaced residents

Voters who applied for an e-mail or fax ballot will have until Friday evening to file their ballot with county clerks.

Steven Musil Night Editor / News
Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
Expertise I have more than 30 years' experience in journalism in the heart of the Silicon Valley.
Steven Musil
2 min read

New Jersey's experiment in allowing storm-displaced residents to vote by e-mail has been extended until Friday.

In the wake of widespread reports of glitches affecting e-mail and fax ballots, the state announced today it will extend the deadline to 8 p.m. ET Friday for returning ballots to county clerks. However, ballots had to be requested by 5 p.m. today.

While e-mail ballots are usually made available only to residents living overseas and the military, the state announced Saturday that it would allow voters displaced by Superstorm Sandy to cast ballots by e-mail or fax. However, many New Jersey residents not displaced by the storm were apparently swamping the system with requests for ballots.

"We've been inundated with electronic ballots," Robert Pantina, an aide to Bergen County Clerk John Hogan, told NorthJersey.com. "We have easily received over 1,000 requests either through e-mail or fax."

Many frustrated voters took to Twitter to complain about nondelivery of e-mailed ballot requests:

A Facebook page for West Orange, N.J., included a message from Essex County Clerk Christopher Durkin, informing displaced voters that they could request a ballot by e-mailing his personal Hotmail account, presumably because of issues preventing delivery to the clerk's official e-mail.

Some Facebook users raised the question of the legality and security of such a move, with some claiming that Durkin's Hotmail account password could easily be hacked.