County officials in New Jersey tallied more than 1,600 uncounted ballots from the state’s July primary after finding them in a bin last Thursday.
The votes were reportedly placed in a “mislabeled” bin in a “secure area” of the county election office, according to the New Jersey Herald. Sussex County Board of Elections Administrator Marge McCabe maintained that the 1,666 extra votes did not change the outcome of the July 7 primary race. “The Board of Elections is confident that all ballots received have been processed and the security of all the ballots has remained in place,” she said.
The Trump campaign has been tussling in court with New Jersey since August over Democrat Gov. Phil Murphy’s executive order requiring that every active registered voter be sent a mail-in ballot. As Politico reported, the campaign argued that Murphy’s executive order bypassed the state legislature’s authority and that it “violates the U.S. Constitution’s Electors and Elections Clauses as well as the 14th Amendment.”
“The Governor’s inconsistencies, coupled with the Order’s timing amid a nationwide push by the Democratic Party for the same measures, reveal that the Order is less about protecting the health of New Jerseyans and more about protecting the electoral prospects of the Governor’s political party,” the lawsuit said.
“As the president and his team try to delegitimize our election and impact the health and safety of millions of New Jerseyans, we will defend our rights vigorously, and we will not back down,” Murphy said in response. “So as they say, ‘Bring it on.'”
According to the New Jersey Division of Elections, almost 88% of the more than 1.4 million New Jerseyans who voted in the primary did so by mail, a sharp increase from 16.7% in 2019.
Of the 30,207 ballots cast in Sussex County, 92.9% were mail-in and 1% of them were rejected, the lowest number in the state, according to Spotlight NJ. Hudson County near New York City rejected the most at 7.2%. Almost 35,000 primary mail-in ballots were rejected in July for various reasons, the most common of which was that they were received too late. The next most common reason was listed as “Other (unspecified),” which was responsible for more than 23% of the rejected votes being tossed out.
As The Daily Wire reported, President Donald Trump has repeatedly warned about the potential dangers of mail-in voting, which he claims is rife with opportunity for foreign interference. “RIGGED 2020 ELECTION: MILLIONS OF MAIL-IN BALLOTS WILL BE PRINTED BY FOREIGN COUNTRIES, AND OTHERS. IT WILL BE THE SCANDAL OF OUR TIMES!” he tweeted in June.
RIGGED 2020 ELECTION: MILLIONS OF MAIL-IN BALLOTS WILL BE PRINTED BY FOREIGN COUNTRIES, AND OTHERS. IT WILL BE THE SCANDAL OF OUR TIMES!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2020
Attorney General William Barr echoed Trump during a July hearing on Capitol Hill, saying “common sense” would dictate that foreign entities would seek to interfere in U.S. elections through counterfeit mail-in voting.
According to an experiment CBS did in Philadelphia in July, “3% of voters were effectively disenfranchised by mail by giving their ballots a week to arrive. In a close election, 3% could be pivotal.”