New Jersey election will be mostly by mail, Murphy confirms
Gov. Phil Murphy will formally announce Friday that the November election will be mostly mail-in.
All residents will again be mailed a ballot, which can returned to secure ballot boxes or returned via mail, the New Jersey Globe first reported. Murphy also told told CNN's John Berman on "New Day" that "we're going to have a hybrid model in November."
It will broadly follow the model of New Jersey's primary elections, which saw all registered Democrats and Republicans mailed ballots, and about half capacity at the polls for normal in person voting. On "New Day," Murphy called that experience "a success."
"Not perfect, but overwhelmingly a success," he said.
But the primary election did see some significant challenges. Notably, 1 in 10 ballots were rejected because of errors such as issues with signatures.
Murphy said some lessons have been learned since then. He's planning for more secure dropboxes to be in place, he said.
Because the November election is open to anyone — not just party-registered voters — all registered voters will get ballots in the mail. Anyone who shows up in person regardless will cast a provisional ballot, which would be counted once election officials verify the same person hasn't already voted by mail.
That's "a little bit more cumbersome but it works," Murphy said.
Voters will have up to seven days to return their ballot via mail, the New Jersey Globe reports.
The governor's office has not yet returned a message early Friday morning from New Jersey 101.5.
Freeholders in several counties have said they are opposed to the mail-in election. The Ocean County Board of Freeholders passed a resolution on Aug. 5 calling on Murphy to allow the use of in-person voting machines, in conjunction with voluntary mail-in balloting.
"The Ocean County Clerk's Office and the Ocean County Board of Elections sent out almost 1 million pieces of information leading up to the Primary Election in June," Ocean County Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari said in a statement. "That is a staggering number. It resulted in overtime, printing expenses, and drawing from the staff of all County Government departments to get the information out and then to review it when it was returned."
Cape May County Freeholders passed a resolution opposing mail-in ballots, saying there's potential for fraud. The resolution cited a case in Paterson in which Paterson city councilman Michael Jackson and councilman-elect Alex Mendez were charged with election fraud by Attorney General Gurbir Grewal after hundreds of mail-in ballots were found in a mailbox in Haledon.
President Donald Trump has spoken out against mail-in voting and told Fox Business News on Thursday he's opposing funding for the Postal Service in coronavirus relief talks because it's needed to accommodate mostly mail-in elections
“Now, they need that money in order to make the Post Office work, so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots,” Trump said. “Now, if we don’t make a deal, that means they don’t get the money. That means they can’t have universal mail-in voting, they just can’t have it.”
He said among the sticking points on a new virus relief package are Democrats’ demand for billions of dollars to assist states in protecting the election and helping postal workers process mail-in ballots. Democratic rival Joe Biden has likened Trump stance to sabotage.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.
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