County Commissioners to award $2.7 Million to purchase Dominion voting machines from large political donor

TOMS RIVER, NJ –  At the August 18th, 2021 meeting of the Ocean County Commissioners, the all Republic Board of Ocean County Commissioners voted to award Dominion Voting Systems a $2,750,000 contract for new voting machines, ignoring the recommendation of the Board of Election. The Commissioners have received over $100,000 in campaign donations from a representative of Dominion.

Dr. Phil Nufrio, Candidate for Commissioner, made the following statement, “You are making a choice today between two voting machines that will be used in our elections in Ocean County. The first voting machine is made by Dominion Voting Systems. Dominion is represented by an agent who made $134,200 in political donations to currently elected Ocean County officials and administrators. In fact, you five County Commissioners who will be voting on this today received $96,800 in campaign contributions from a Dominion representative.“The second voting machine is made by Election Systems and Software, or ES&S. The ES&S voting machine was recommended by the Board of Elections, and described by election staff as “superior” and “easier for the voter”, and “more reliable” than the Dominion machines.”

The Ocean County Board of Commissioners has taken in tens of thousands of dollars in political campaign donations from the vendor who will be awarded the contract.

“Today, the Ocean County Commissioners are planning to award the contract to Dominion, despite the recommendation of the Board of Elections and their staff. It seems clear that political donations matter more than the quality of the voting machines, ” Nufrio said. “I have here a copy of the minutes from the June 21st Board of Elections meeting which I’d be glad to share. I’d like to read what the Board of Elections professional staff had to say about Dominion versus ES&S. The Board of Elections staff sets up the voting machines. They transport the machines. They train the poll workers. These are the people who run our elections.”

Here’s what the professional staff had to say after evaluating both the Dominion and the ES&S machines:

  • • The ES&S machine is superior to the Dominion machine.
  • • The ES&S Machine will be easier for the voter.
  • • The ES&S machine is more similar to our current machine, because with the ES&S machine you only have one step and with the Dominion it is a two step process.
  • • It would be easier to teach the board workers how to use the ES&S machine.
  • • The thermal printers that the ES&S machines have are better than the toner printers that the Dominion machines use.
  • • The printers for Dominion are everyday printers that are not meant to be moved.
  • • The toner printers being delivered in the truck may cause them to get jostled around and lead to failure.

“After hearing these recommendations, and with no public discussion, how is it that you are going to award this contract to Dominion,” Nufrio said. “This is pay-to-play at its worst. This corrupt process weakens the public faith in the integrity of our elections. The voting machines we use in Ocean County should be based on the quality of the machines, not based on politics and campaign contributions. And I believe the voters in Ocean County will hold you accountable for playing politics with the integrity of our elections.”

We reached out to the Ocean County Board of Commissioners who refused to comment on the topic.

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