NJ Election 2020: A vote like no other (Replay)
LIVE, THURSDAY at 7 p.m.: New Jersey's election isn't just coming — it's here. For the first time, New Jersey will vote almost entirely by mail, a controversial precaution put in place for the continuing novel coronavirus pandemic. Your mail-in ballot is likely already in your hands.
A federal judge has denied the Trump campaign's challenge to New Jersey's voter rules, which the incumbent president argues opens the election up to fraud. And New Jerseys are sifting through concerning headlines: A mail carrier is alleged to have dumped 100 ballots in the trash. Some Ocean County voters got ballots for the wrong town. A machine error in Bergen County led to 7,000 ballots being printed with the wrong Congressional candidates. Officials in Sussex County have recently counted more than 1,600 ballots from New Jersey's July primary that were found in what officials called a “mislabeled” bin. Some ballots in Burlington County were improperly sealed.
And while experts say election fraud — by any means — is rare in the U.S, a case hit home this year. A mostly-mail special election resulted in election fraud charges against four people, including a city councilman, a councilman-elect, the brother of another councilman and a fourth man. In this year's mostly mail primary, about 1 in 10 ballots were thrown out for errors and oddities including seemingly mis-matched voter signatures, or failure to sign the ballot envelope.
“This is the first time the majority of people in New Jersey will cast their vote by mail,” New Jersey 101.5 Senior Political Director Eric Scott said. “And as a result, there is much confusion. There have been documented cases of voting irregularities in New Jersey, and our goal is to help everyone who wants to vote, be certain their vote will be counted.”
Gov. Phil Murphy has pointed to the arrests of those accused in Paterson as evidence the system works — after all, those alleged to be involved were caught. Many of the ballots thrown out in the primary were tossed to ensure the integrity of counted votes. But it's no wonder people have questions and concerns.
Thursday, Scott will join experts including New Jersey Secretary of State Tahesha Way live Thursday at 7 to discuss those concerns and questions about an election like no other. Listen on New Jersey 101.5 FM, NJ1015.com or the New Jersey 101.5 app. Follow along on Facebook Live and join the chat there, or call 800-283-1015 Thursday to ask your questions on air.