Letter: New Jersey fraud tied to politician, not to the voters

Editor,

In response to Mr. Hickey’s July 18 letter to the editor regarding fraudulent voting by mail in Patterson, NJ, I would like to point out that:

• The perpetrator was a councilman who was running in a primary, not the voters. He was caught and the fraudulent ballots were disqualified;

• If you go to www.state.nj.us>state>election>vote-by-mail you will get the New Jersey state law:

Whenever a person delivers a ballot to the county board, that person shall provide proof of the person’s identity in the form of a New Jersey driver’s license, or another form of identification issued or recognized as official by the federal government, the state, or any of its subdivisions, providing the identification carries the full address and signature of the person. The person shall sign a record maintained by the county of all mail-in ballots personally delivered to it.

A voter may vote by mail by completing the application for vote by mail ballot and returning the application to their county clerk.

To receive your ballot by mail, the application must be received by the county clerk seven days prior to the election.

A voter may also apply in person to the county clerk prior to 8 p.m. on the day of the election.

The county clerk cannot accept faxed or emailed copies of a application for vote by mail ballot, unless you are a military or overseas voter, since an original signature is required.

• As a resident and voter in New Jersey for 30 years, I can attest that you must sign the voter book every time you vote right next to all the signatures you have made for all previous votes, and it is verified before you can cast your vote. The same is true of mail-in ballots, and election officials check the ballot to make sure the signatures match, just as they do here in Washington state.

The only other time a mail in ballot fraud was committed recently was a couple of years ago in North Carolina by a state legislator running for re-election. He and his minions were caught and prosecuted and the election was re-run.

The point is that none of the voters committed the fraud, and it is nearly impossible to get away with it, especially on the scale of a national election. Our election officials work very hard to make sure that our elections are properly run and ballots are properly counted.

We are not a third world country — yet.

Marcia Nelson

Oak Harbor

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