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Rep. Mikie Sherrill. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe)

Sherrill camp slams Becchi for letter alleging election misconduct

Democrat’s campaign manager calls challenger’s claims a ‘publicity stunt’

By Nikita Biryukov, November 18 2020 12:35 pm

Rep. Mikie Sherrill’s campaign slammed Republican challenger Rosemary Becchi over a letter to U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito’s office alleging “serious” misconduct related to the handling of ballots on and before election day in Essex County.

“One of the first things kids learn in little leagues across the nation is to shake hands with your opponent, win or lose. It’s a basic lesson that Rosemary Becchi has yet to learn,” Sherrill campaign manager Elizabeth Davis said. “Unfortunately, this isn’t little league. It’s a federally elected office in our democracy.”

On Wednesday, Becchi’s campaign issued a 17-page letter detailing alleged abuses at a handful of Essex County towns that includes claims 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.

Sherrill leads her challenger by 28,209 votes, 227,074-198,865. The bulk of that margin comes from a 26,889-vote lead in Essex, but Sherrill’s 7,917-vote lead in Morris County would be enough to overcome Becchi’s advantages in the Passaic and Sussex County portions of the district.

Becchi leads by 3,712 in Sussex and by 2,885 in Passaic. That means Sherrill would still be ahead by 1,320 votes if all 109,099 ballots case in Essex were discounted.

“Ms. Becchi’s spurious allegations are a publicity stunt meant to erode faith in our democracy and attack our election system,” Davis said. “It’s a blatant disregard for the people of this district who spoke and overwhelmingly decided they did not want Rosemary Becchi to represent them in Congress.”

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