The Murphy administration today proposed placing election monitors inside certain campaign headquarters’ and to track campaign workers as a way of ensuring a fair November general election.
Deputy Attorney General George N. Cohen offered his proposal in Superior Court hearing ordering a new election in Paterson, where the last race led to criminal voter fraud charges against the winner and others.
Judge Ernest Caposela was asked by Scott Salmon, an attorney representing former Councilman William McKoy, to appoint election monitors to observe the vote count and decisions regarding the rejection of vote-by-mail ballots for the November 3 election.
Cohen, representing the state, opposed election monitors at the Passaic County Board of Elections.
“This is not a shot at the candidates but frankly if you’re going to appoint a monitor, I think it would be good to have monitors at the campaign headquarters of the candidates and to follow their campaign workers around to make sure there is no misdoing, because that’s where the problems were, allegedly,” said Cohen. “Let the campaigns pay for campaign monitors and let them sit at campaign offices to make sure no one’s going out and collecting, 5, 10, or 500 ballots at a time.”
Caposela asked Cohen who would pay for the monitors.
“The campaigns,” Cohen said. “Yeah, let the campaigns put up the money
Allegations of voter fraud in the May Paterson election – a contest cited in a federal lawsuit filed last night by President Donald Trump’s campaign seeking to block Gov. Phil Murphys’ order of a November election conducted almost entirely through VBM ballots – led Caposela to invalidate the previous election under a belief that it would be impossible to determine who actually won.
“A substantial number of ballots were left on the floor in an apartment building rather than being delivered to the individual mailboxes of the resident,” Caposela stated in his ruling today. “Approximately two hundred uncounted mail in ballots were found in a postal box located in adjacent Haledon.
According to Caposela, there were several reasons to throw about the results of the may election.
“Candidates and their campaign workers either were not familiar with the rules governing the receipt, execution and return of the ballot or they chose to ignore them,” Caposela said. “The postal service may have been overwhelmed by the number of ballots being requested and filed leading to mail in ballots being left in bulk in the foyer of an apartment building and possibly not retrieving from the mail the return ballots after the voter voted.”
Caposela said there was “no reason to appoint an election monitor but may entertain such a request if future circumstances require it.”
A spokesperson for Murphy did not immediately respond to a 12:24 PM request for comment.