NJ primary: 1,600 uncounted ballots found in 'mislabeled’ bin, may add fuel to Trump's claim of unsolicited votes

The demand for mail-in ballots has gone up in the wake of the pandemic, but Trump and his aides are not convinced and see a bigger conspiracy


                            NJ primary: 1,600 uncounted ballots found in 'mislabeled’ bin, may add fuel to Trump's claim of unsolicited votes
(Getty Images)

President Donald Trump has been vocal about the use of mail-in ballots in the November 3 election, claiming that it would lead to a large-scale electoral malpractice. The demand for mail-in ballots has gone up in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic as a measure to prevent mass transmission of the contagious disease. But Trump and his aides are not convinced and see a bigger conspiracy in this.

Now, in a development that will make the president and his allies vindicated, more than 1,600 uncounted primary ballots from New Jersey’s Sussex County were found in a “mislabeled” bin last week and added to the final tally of the results of the state’s July 7 primary, as per the Board of Elections Administrator Marge McCabe. 

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (Getty Images)

According to a report filed by New Jersey Herald on Monday, September 14: “The 1,666 ballots cast in the July 7 primary had been placed in a “mislabeled” bin in a “secure area” at the board office and were not discovered until Thursday. After notifying the state Attorney General’s office of the error, the remaining votes were counted Saturday and certified by the county clerk’s office the same day.”

Ballots did not change the outcome of the primaries

It was not known immediately as to how many of the misplaced ballots belonged to each local election. Though McCabe also said the ballots did not alter the results of the elections, the matter is certainly going to add fuel to the ongoing controversy over mail-in ballots.

McCabe said in a statement: “The Board of Elections is confident that all ballots received have been processed and the security of all the ballots has remained in place.” Though the reason for the ballots getting misplaced were yet to be explained, the Herald report said the mistake “was perhaps the result of a unique election process caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, with a majority of county residents voting by mail and the Board of Elections temporarily relocating to count the votes.”

A poll worker assist a voter cast their vote at Liberty High School on July 7, 2020, in Jersey City, New Jersey. (Getty Images)

The registered voters in the Garden State are set to automatically get a mail-in ballot for the November 3 election and each County Clerk’s office will mail out the ballots by October 5.

NJ Democratic governor sued by Trump team

All registered voters in the Garden State will automatically receive a mail-in ballot for November’s election. Each County Clerk’s office will mail out ballots by Monday, October 5. In August, New Jersey’s Democratic Governor Phil Murphy faced a legal challenge from panels like Donald J Trump for President, New Jersey Republican State Committee and the Republican National Committee -- all of which filed a lawsuit over his executive order instituting mail-in voting for the upcoming poll. 

“In his haste, the governor created a system that will violate eligible citizens’ right to vote,” the lawsuit stated, adding: “By ordering universal vote-by-mail, he has created a recipe for disaster. Fraudulent and invalid votes dilute the votes of honest citizens and deprive them of their right to vote in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment."
 
A week earlier, Murphy announced the vote-by-mail plan to keep polling places closed allegedly to restrict the spread of the coronavirus which has affected more than 6.6 million people and killed nearly 200,000. No Republican president has won New Jersey since 1988 and in 2016, Hillary Clinton had a sweeping victory over Trump to win all 14 electoral votes

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