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Post office took nearly two weeks to approve design of VBM ballot applications

More than 2.4 million unaffiliated voters must opt-in to vote in July 7 primary election

By David Wildstein, June 02 2020 4:04 pm

A two-week delay in creating an application for 2.4 million unaffiliated voters to receive a ballot for the July 7 primary election was caused by the U.S. Postal Service, the New Jersey Globe has learned.

As a result, county election officials have still not received final approval from the state Division of Elections on the applications that will need to be mailed to voters unaffiliated with either major party to see if they want to receive a vote-by-mail ballot for the primary, sources with knowledge of the process have told the Globe.

Postal officials did not return the indicia for postage-paid application returns to the state until today.

Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order on May 15 ordering a mostly-all vote-by-mail primary election, with options for limited in-person voting.

Registered Democrats and Republicans will automatically receive VBM ballots, but 2,404,558 unaffiliated voters must pro-actively request a ballot.

The post office has been ground zero for problems related to the all-VBM May 12 local elections in 33 municipalities across ten counties.

The embattled agency was criticized for dumping large numbers of mail-in ballots in bins on the floor of apartment building lobbies, rather than place the ballots in individual mailboxes.

The Globe has reported that thousands of votes cast in that election were delivered up two weeks late, causing those ballots to not be counted.

In Paterson, federal and state law enforcement are investigating allegations of voter fraud possibly caused by ballot harvesting.

Nearly 900 ballots that appear to have been mailed in bulk from three individual mailboxes, including more than 300 rubber-banded together form a mailbox in neighboring Haledon.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Service did not immediately respond to a 3:49 PM email seeking comment.

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