Four men have been charged with voter fraud after interfering in elections in Paterson, NJ. State Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced the charges this week.
“Today’s charges send a clear message: if you try to tamper with an election in New Jersey, we will find you and we will hold you accountable,” Grewal said in a statement.
“We will not allow a small number of criminals to undermine the public’s confidence in our democratic process.”
Among the men charged are the Vice President of the Patterson City Council and a candidate running for a seat on that body.
In the municipal elections held May 12, 16,747 mail-in ballots were received but only 13,557 were counted. More than 3,190 votes, or 19% of the ballots, were disqualified by the board of elections.
Paterson held the election through mail-in voting because of the Covid19 pandemic.
Community leaders are calling for the entire election to be invalidated.
Over 800 ballots were improperly bundled together, including one instance where hundreds were packaged together in a single package. There were multiple instances of ballots being left in lobbies of apartment buildings instead of delivered to residents’ individual mailboxes.
NBC also reported that many Paterson residents were listed as having voted when they never received mail-in ballots nor voted. Ramona Javier, a resident, said she personally knew of eight people who were incorrectly listed as having voted when they didn’t.
“We did not receive vote-by-mail ballots and thus we did not vote,” she said. “This is corruption. This is fraud.”
President Trump warned last month of rampant voter fraud through mail-in voting via a Tweet. Mail-in ballot would be “substantially fraudulent” the President wrote, if they were allowed to be used in U.S. elections.
Twitter censored the tweet with a “Get the Facts” warning.