A Superior Court judge granted Mercer County elections officials permission to open up all the voting machines to make sure no ballots are “stuck” inside the emergency slots utilized to collect completed ballots on Election Day.

Superintendent of Elections Nathanial Walker made the request so the machines could be opened immediately instead of having to wait the 15 days that voting machines are typically impounded for after an election.

A “small number of ballots” were found inside voting machines when they were opened Thursday morning after a Superior Court granted the request, according to the New Jersey Globe.

Walker, County Cleark Paula Covello and county spokeswoman Julie Wilmot on Friday morning did not respond to New Jersey 101.5's request for more information. The offices were closed for the Veterans Day holiday.

Voters completed their paper ballots on Election Day but when the Dominion voting machines would not scan them to tally the results, the ballots were placed in an emergency slot. The ballots were scanned by county election officials with some results released on Wednesday.

Some ballots in Robbinsville and Princeton were reported as missing Wednesday night but located on Thursday and counted, according to Covello. She did not disclose where they were located.

Election officials have not offered a full explanation as to why the scanners would not read the ballots.

Dominion Voting System said their machines were not to blame and said it was a printing issue.  Royal Printing, the company contracted by the county to print the ballots, told New Jersey 101.5 there was no problem with the ballots.

A county official close to the county election process told New Jersey 101.5 that the problem was determined by election officials to be the wrong ink being used to print the ballots that the scanners could not read.

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dan.alexander@townsquaremedia.com

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