The polling location at the Montclair municipal building is seen during the Nov. 2 election. (KATE ALBRIGHT/FILE PHOTO)

By TALIA WIENER
wiener@montclair.news

Essex County election results will not be certified until Nov. 18 after mishaps by poll workers caused some machines to be impounded before vote totals were extracted.

“Every Election Day voting machine is impounded by law at 8:00 p.m. on election night whether or not you received the results from them,” Essex County Clerk Christopher J. Durkin said. “The impounding of machines is so any machine can only be inspected through a judge’s order protecting the security of the voting machines.”

The machines are impounded for 15 days following Election Day.

All properly processed Election Day machine votes were tallied as of Nov. 4, Durkin said. But the county did not receive voting machine election results from 56 districts on election night — 15 of which were in Montclair — after poll workers shut the machines down without first retrieving the electronic thumb drives containing the vote totals, according to reports by nj.com.

SAVE MONTCLAIR LOCAL: We're overjoyed to report we've hit our fundraising goal of $230,000 this quarter for Montclair Local Nonprofit News! Montclair has stepped up to say local news matters, and we're hugely grateful. That gives our newsroom, your newsroom, security to operate well into 2022 while we continue to work toward long-term sustainability. We've seen what happens when news operations cut back or shut down. Communities suffer. We've seen it here in Montclair, and we believe you deserve better.

Visit MontclairLocal.news/donations to make your tax-deductible contribution today, to keep Montclair Local strong and help us do even more to serve the amazing community of Montclair.

“We needed to receive a court order to retrieve those results being that voting machines are impounded for 15 days beginning at 8 p.m. election night,” Durkin said.

There are also 3,698 provisional ballots from Early Voting and Election Day voting that are still being verified. The Board of Elections plans to meet Friday, Nov. 12, to count them, Durkin said.

Monday, Nov. 8, was the last day that mail-in ballots delivered by the postal service could be counted as long as the ballot had a postmark date of Election Day or prior.

Nov. 15 is the deadline for any voter whose vote by mail ballot was denied based on signature comparison or lack of signature to cure their signature and validate their ballot.

An earlier version of this post implied only some voting machines were impounded following Election Day.