South Jersey lawmakers call for federal monitor of primary election amid recent scandals

South Jersey lawmakers call for federal monitor of primary election amid recent scandals

TRENTON, N.J. – South Jersey lawmakers, Sen. Mike Testa and Assemblymen Antwan McClellan and Erik Simonsen called upon the U.S. attorney for New Jersey to monitor the state’s upcoming primary elections on July 7.  The lawmakers also introduced a resolution Monday in the Assembly (ACR185) calling for fair and legal election in New Jersey and for federal monitors to prevent voter fraud.

“The recent revelations of alleged voter fraud in several cities in New Jersey spurred us to call on the federal government to protect the sanctity of voter choice in our upcoming elections, which will be dominated by mail-in ballots,” said McClellan (R-Cape May).  “Every voter counts and their vote should be counted, too.”

Gov. Phil Murphy in May announced his decision that the election he already postponed would be conducted primarily by mail, with most registered Democrats and Republicans automatically getting a ballot and everyone else registered receiving an application for a mail-in ballot.

“Our aim is to get the full Legislature to say, with one bi-partisan voice, that we will not allow voter fraud to disenfranchise voters in any city, township or borough in our state,” said Simonsen (R-Cape May). “Voter fraud should be condemned across the aisle. We hope our colleagues will endorse this resolution and stand with us for fair elections. “

They noted several recent instances of vote-by-mail problems in New Jersey.

Several postal-service trucks carrying vote-by-mail ballots caught fire in Morris County last week.  Human error also resulted in about 500 misprinted ballots sent in Bernardsville, which then required re-mailing every Republican voter a ballot.  Nearly 10 percent of ballots were rejected for the May 12 special election, a figure significantly higher than the three percent rejection rate in the 2018 general election.

Additionally, in the Paterson case, state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced criminal voting fraud charges last week against Paterson City Councilman Michael Jackson, Councilman-elect Alex Mendez, and two other men in connection with the May 12 Democrat primary.  A Passaic County judge issued a temporary injunction Tuesday to keep Mendez from taking office, just days after he was hit with election fraud charges.

“The integrity of New Jersey’s upcoming primary election is at risk as more and more evidence of voter fraud, ballot tampering, post office failures, and misprints of mail-in ballots come to light,” said Testa. “We believe an election completed entirely through a rushed vote-by-mail process is going to be highly problematic and likely wrought with errors. People deserve to know that their votes will be counted and that this vote-by-mail election will be conducted fairly.”