CD-11 Flashpoint: DeGroot at Crunch Time

MONTVILLE – Paul DeGroot, the Republican candidate in CD-11, eagerly stepped up to sign-in as a voter around 8 a.m. today, but then something went wrong.

A slip of paper required to insert and activate the voting machines was not produced as planned.

The candidate was told he would have to vote provisional.

DeGroot was not happy, but then said, “I guess I have to,”

As he sat down to fill out a provisional ballot, something happened on the other side of the table; the required slip of paper was produced.

So DeGroot was able to enter the booth and vote normally, if you will.

Morris County does have new voting machines, which like everything new, can take some time to get accustomed to.

Voters “sign” their names on a computer screen. A slip of paper is produced by the computer and they sign again. Then they take a larger slip of paper and insert it into the machine, thus activating it.

It was that larger slip that was not immediately produced for DeGroot.

After he finally was able to vote, DeGroot said one of the machines started “beeping.”

That doesn’t sound good.

Before this drama ensued, DeGroot said he had parked his car in the exact spot outside the Pine Brook Firehouse polling place that he used during the primary.

The June primary was no ordinary exercise.

DeGroot ran “off the line” in Morris County, but still prevailed, helped by a big win in Passaic County, where he served many years as an assistant prosecutor.

“Here we are again,” he said, referring to both the firehouse polling place and presumably, the same, perhaps lucky, parking spot.

The Republican would seem to have an uphill battle against Democrat Mikie Sherrill, but he has no regrets.

“We put it all out,” he said, referring to his very active campaign.

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