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Democratic State Senate candidate Rupande Mehta.

Mehta hits Bucco over no votes on voting access bills

Incumbent says he voted no to prevent voter confusion

By Nikita Biryukov, August 31 2020 11:34 am

Democratic State Senate candidate Rupande Mehta launched an attack against State Sen. Tony Bucco (R-Boonton) over a series of no votes the incumbent made on three voting access bills last week.

“Once again, Bucco has voted in line with his party and against the voters of LD-25. Bucco is scared the people in LD-25 will vote him out so he will do everything in his power to prevent them from casting their ballots this general election,” she said. “Let’s call it what it is — Bucco is suppressing voters. We need a State Senator that will lead with the voices of the district and not silence them.”

The three bills extended the statutory grace period for late-arriving mail-in ballots from 48 hours to six days after polls close, made ballot curing the law of the land and required secure ballot drop boxes be installed in county clerks’ offices in the 45 days preceding an election.

The bills also increased the ballot bearer limit from three to five for members of the same household and bars election officials from rejecting a ballot because of defects outside of a voter’s control, like faulty glue.

Bucco’s camp, who is running for the remaining year of his late father’s term in the legislature’s upper chamber, said his no votes were aimed at preventing election changes spurred by the pandemic from confusing voters.

“Sen. Bucco supports making access to voting easier, fair and safe for all, but some of the measures called for by partisans in Trenton are using the emergency of the pandemic to cause permanent change in election rules that result in confusion and voter distrust in the results, especially by sending tens of thousands of live ballots to voters no longer residing at their correct address,” Bucco campaign manager Kasey Dearden said.

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