Republican House challenger Rosemary Becchi fired back at Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair) after the incumbent’s campaign manager chided her for alleging “serious” misconduct by Essex County election workers.
“I am shocked by the blatant disregard for the legal process — especially by a former US Prosecutor. It appears that the U.S. Attorney’s Office is taking the claims in the report seriously, and I hope that Congresswoman Sherrill and her campaign will do the same,” Becchi said. “I call on Mikie Sherrill to join our mission of insisting that the election process is fair and honest in Essex County for future elections.”
The U.S. Attorney’s office said they received Becchi’s letter but declined to comment further. Sherrill’s campaign declined to comment. Earlier Wednesday, Elizabeth Davis, the congresswoman’s campaign manager, called Becchi’s letter a “publicity stunt.”
On Wednesday, Becchi’s campaign issued a 17-page letter detailing alleged abuses at a handful of Essex County towns that includes claims that poll workers were allowed to bring personal belongings into a counting facility, that the campaign’s challengers couldn’t observe counting and that ballots were transported in unsealed bags in Nutley and West Caldwell.
It further claims poll workers did not ask voters for photo identification. New Jersey does not require voters show ID unless they did not do so when registering to vote.
Even if the Becchi campaign’s allegations shift votes in Essex County — there’s little indication they will — Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair) would still win the election.
The incumbent leads Becchi by 28,209 votes. With all of Essex County’s 109,099 votes discounted, Sherrill would still be ahead by 1,320 votes.
The challenger said she wasn’t attempting to undermine the election’s results.
“These 11 volunteers put their names on statements provided to the authorities, and I appreciate their commitment to the democratic process,” she said. “Voters in New Jersey deserve to have their votes counted in a fair manner, that’s all we are saying”