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Attorney General Gurbir Grewal. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe)

Grewal tells Singh to stop sending letter asking voters to request duplicate ballot

U.S. Senate candidate’s mailer may have violated federal, state election law

By Nikita Biryukov, June 25 2020 4:36 pm

New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal ordered a Republican U.S. Senate candidate to immediately stop sending a letter telling voters who cast ballots in support of his primary rival to ask for duplicate mail-in ballots.

“You are to immediately cease and desist from any further mailing, emailing or any other dissemination of the attached letter. You are further directed to immediately provide this office, the State Division of Elections, all county clerks and county boards of elections with a list of the names and addresses of all persons who were sent a copy of your letter,” Grewal said in a letter to Hirsh Singh.

Singh’s letter wrongly claimed that only the duplicate ballot would be counted.

“As a patriot, if you have been hoodwinked into voting for Rik Mehta, it is your patriotic duty to contact your county clerk and request a duplicate ballot to vote for the only Conservative Hirsh Singh,” the mailer says. “Your duplicate ballot will replace your earlier ballot.”

Five county clerks told the New Jersey Globe that was not the case, and Grewal is backing them up.

“This statement is false. After receiving a mail-in ballot, any ‘duplicate’ ballot received by the county board of elections will be rejected,” the attorney general’s letter said.

Casting more than one ballot in a given race is a third-degree felony in New Jersey. Such crimes carry a penalty of up to five years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.

It’s also illegal under federal law, which proscribes the same penalties to voters who cast more than one ballot in a single election.

That poses a problem for Singh, since advising a voter to vote twice is illegal under those same statutes.

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