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Shanel Robinson. (Photo: Somerset County Democrats.)

Somerset Democrats want in-person machine voting

Freeholder resolution touts voter choice

By David Wildstein, August 31 2020 11:12 am

The Democratic majority on the Somerset County Board of Freeholders voiced their preference for in-person voting last week in a vote that allies them with local Republicans.

Shanel Robinson, Sara Sooy and Melonie Marano joined with two GOP freeholders on a non-binding resolution that urges Gov. Phil Murphy to allow voters to cast their ballot by machine on November 3.

Murphy signed an executive order this month mandating that the general election be conducted primarily through vote-by-mail ballots.  A limited number of polling locations – at least one in each municipality – will be available for voters to cast paper ballots.

The move puts the Democratic freeholders on opposite sides of Murphy and Peg Schaffer, the Somerset County Democratic Chair and the New Jersey Democratic State Committee vice chair at a time when Donald Trump’s re-election campaign has filed a lawsuit against Murphy in federal court seeking to overturn the governor’s decision.

The freeholder action does not mention Murphy’s executive order.

The resolution was sponsored by Republicans Brian Levine and Brian Gallagher, who are seeking re-election this fall.  The GOP had a 5-0 majority until winning two seats in 2018 and a third seat in 2019.

TAPintoHillsborough first reported the VBM resolution.

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