Democrat Cory Booker has defeated Republican Steve Lonegan in New Jersey’s U.S. Senate race on Wednesday, but not without problems surfacing throughout the day.
The Associated Press called the race for Booker just after 9:30 p.m. with Lonegan’s concession speech following about 20 minutes later, according to The Star-Ledger of Newark.
Earlier in the day, reports were coming in that at least one precinct was closed and voters were turned away:
The Lonegan campaign told the Independent Journal Review about other irregularities, including voting machines being down in a few conservative precincts, but it had not been verified. Some voters didn’t receive ballots, the Review reported:
Emails have been provided to me by the Lonegan campaign from people complaining that they were not mailed “write-in” ballots before the election, but when arriving at polling places, were told that they were not on the voting rolls. Having not been registered, they could not vote via machine, and would have to vote by provisional ballot.
The state’s online application for voters to find their precinct polling locations went down, causing it to be replaced mid-day by a similar service provided by the Pew Charitable Trust’s Voting Information Project according to The Star-Ledger.
Five independent candidates have filed a petition with the secretary of Senate challenging the results of the election, questioning the “constitutionality, legality and validity of the election on a number of grounds.” The Star-Ledger reported:
The candidates claim three issues with the election should invalidate it: The use of electronic voting machines with no paper backup that will not be “impounded,” that independent candidates weren’t included in the two debates and that the Republican candidate appears in the first two spaces on ballots, despite a lot turnout during the primary.
The Senate seat was formerly held by the late Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg, who died in June.