The United State Postal Service Inspector General has launched a review targeting undelivered mail-in ballots in Belleville, Gov. Phil Murphy’s office said Tuesday.
On Saturday, the New Jersey Globe reported that vote by mail ballots at least two apartment buildings in Belleville were left in bins or on shelves and not placed into voters’ mailboxes.
It’s not clear how many of the 24,261 Belleville voters who are supposed to receive mail-in ballots have been affected by the non-deliveries. According to Census figures compiled in 2010, 49% of the town’s residents live in rental housing, though not all of them live in apartment buildings.
The inspector general’s review is distinct from an administrative probe USPS is conducting into the undelivered ballots.
Murphy’s office has contacted members of the state’s congressional delegation in an effort to better coordinate with the Postal Service.
“We’ve been in touch with both the federal delegation and internally,” Murphy Chief Counsel Matt Platkin said.
The front office, Platkin said, is trying to identify who among the state’s federal representatives can best serve as a liaison between New Jersey and USPS.
Details remain scant about safeguards to prevent further vote by mail issues ahead of races in 26 New Jersey towns that will be held entirely through the post on May 12, though the governor’s office said the New Jersey State Department and the Postal service have had talks on the matter.
“The administration, including the Department of State, has been engaged with the USPS on specific issues related to delivery and receipt of the ballots for the upcoming election and further dialogue on expanded use of VBM,” Murphy Deputy Press Secretary Christine Lee said.