NJ Poll Worker Told Voter That Machines Were Separated by Party

A New Jersey board of elections admits poll workers made a mistake Tuesday morning when they instructed Democratic voters toward one machine and Republican voters toward another. 

The investigation began when voter Alison Gillen went to the Convent Station polling site in Morristown, where there are two voting machines, and a worker gave her instructions that alarmed her. 

"The gentleman did say, 'If you're Republican, we'd like you to go here; Democrat, here," she told NBC 4 New York. "I said, 'I don't think that's right, I don't think I have to declare my party.'"

Gillen said a poll worker was standing in front of what was designated as the Democratic machine. 

"I said, 'I would appreciate if if you wouldn't do this to anyone else. This is intimidation and it's not how things are supposed to work,'" she said. "It just seemed to me that they were trying to prevent any Democratic votes."  

Gillen filed a complaint and then contacted NBC 4 New York. The Morris County Board of Elections said it immediately fixed the problem by re-educating the poll workers. 

Officials couldn't say why the mistake was made, though they suggested the workers might have confused the general election with a primary election.

Gillen said the election official on site gave her a different explanation.

"He said, 'Well, it's just to help us tally the votes,'" she said. "And I said, 'I don't think that's true.' These are electronic voting machines." 

Gillen is glad to see the problem fixed. 

"That's what our country was founded on," she said. "You have the right to vote and it doesn't matter who you vote for. That's between you and the voting machine." 

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