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Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh. (Photo: City of Paterson).

Sayegh wants some in-person voting in November

By Nikita Biryukov, August 03 2020 4:48 pm

Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh wants in-person voting to be part of Gov. Phil Murphy’s plan for November’s elections.

“I’d prefer that people do go in person, but if they like the option of voting by mail, they can always do that. People are still leery, right?” Sayegh told the New Jersey Globe. “They have to have their faith restored in the process.”

In June, Attorney General Gurbir Grewal charged Paterson Councilman Michael Jackson and Councilman-elect Alex Mendez, among others, with a series of voting fraud charges related to their roles in an alleged vote-by-mail scheme in the city.

A judge blocked Mendez from taking his seat, and the city is slated to hold a special election to fill a separate seat on Nov. 3.

But Paterson’s voters have had their faith shaken, and it hasn’t been fully restored, the mayor said.

“We’re getting there. It’s a good thing that, in Paterson, we were able to identify the fraud and bring the alleged bad actors to justice, but we’re getting there,” Sayegh said. “We need some guidance as to what the next election’s going to look like in November, so is it going to be a hybrid?”

Gov. Phil Murphy is set to announce guidance for the general election in mid-August. It’s not clear exactly what those races will look like, though Murphy has said his office is lending an eye to in-person voting issues seen during last month’s primaries.

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