The coronavirus pandemic has caused many people to speculate how the November 2020 elections will be held and whether or not increased calls for vote-by-mail elections will result in increased election fraud.
President Trump has joined in on the concern, speculating that if more states change to exclusively vote-by-mail methods, then the presidential election could be decided by whichever party acts more corruptly.
While many liberals have written the worry off, a case from New Jersy goes to show the worry is reasonable.
“New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal filed criminal charges against four individuals—including two city council officials—last week for allegedly engaging in voter fraud with mail-in ballots,” the Daily Wire reports.
According to the report, the charges were announced last week when Grewal also put other potential criminals on notice.
“If you try to tamper with an election in New Jersey, we will find you and we will hold you accountable. We will not allow a small number of criminals to undermine the public’s confidence in our democratic process,” he said.
NBC New York reports the criminal charges were announced following an investigation into the Paterson city council election, where one race was decided by only 8 votes.
Incumbent Shahin Khalique very narrowly defeated Mohammed Akhtaruzzaman — 1,729 votes to 1,721. Another race featured long-time council member William McKoy losing to challenger Alex Mendez by a mere 245 votes.
But, then came the corruption… NBC reports:
A Passaic County spokesman said 16,747 vote-by-mail ballots were received, but the county’s official results page shows 13,557 votes were counted — a difference of 3,190 votes. Those thousands of ballots not counted would represent nearly one in five of all votes cast, or 19 percent.
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The Board of Elections previously announced about 800 votes would be set aside and not counted amid charges they were found improperly bundled in mailboxes in Paterson as well as at a drop box in nearby Haledon.
NBC reports the election was only vote-by-mail due to the still-ongoing coronavirus pandemic and “the uncounted ballots possibly could have tipped the election in favor of one of the candidates.”
Several other city officials have warned: “there may have been an organized effort by some campaigns to steal mail-in-votes.”
The spokesman later told the Paterson Press that the additional 2,390 disqualifications were due to the election board comparing signatures on the ballots to those previously on file for voters, and the new ones not matching up. The spokesman also would not explain the breakdown of what ward those ballots were from, or which candidates were voted for in those disqualified ballots.
NBC New York has reported claims by some residents that they never received ballots in the mail, but records show they voted. Those residents are alleging fraud. NBC New York also first reported on hundreds of ballots allegedly being improperly bundled, and also aired video of a single voter apparently mailing in numerous votes, which experts say is illegal.
According to NBC, the results of the election can only be contested once they were certified.
University of California-Irvine School of Law professor Rick Hasen, an election law expert, responded to the case saying: “There is a genuine absentee ballot fraud scandal going on in Paterson.”
“When someone tries an absentee ballot scheme like this clumsy attempt in Paterson, it is hard to hide. People get caught,” he added.