Working with data and computers, it’s fairly easy to see how something like this might have occurred — knuckleheaded though it was. Not that NJ would swing one way or another in the presidential race by just 300,000 voters, but those kinds of numbers could play into more local election results. The question now is will anyone step up and call shenanigans? (Hat tip: The Baristas)
Glitches in the computer data — some as minor as a missing middle initial — led to notices going to voters who are in fact registered, according to Susan Evans, a spokeswoman for Wells. One source of trouble, she said, was that voters who first registered before a birth date was required are listed in state elections computers as having been born on 01-01-1800 — which obviously does not match the birth dates on their driving records.
Evans said 300,000 letters went out to voters living in Essex, Bergen and five South Jersey counties. She did not know how many were erroneous. Before the mailings resume, she said, the data will be scrubbed — in particular to keep those voters listed as 208 years old from getting the notices “so they’re not unduly alarmed.”