Oops? NJ County Finds 1,600+ Mail-In Ballots Months After Primary Election
Yet another problem with mail-in voting has been made apparent: people simply losing track of ballots.
New Jersey has been no stranger to issues with mail-in voting. Just months ago one in five ballots in an election in the City of Paterson had to be disqualified following accusations of widespread fraud and ballot theft. That happened not along after it was reported that 500-700 Republican voters in one New Jersey township received ballots listing only Democrat candidates in the mail.
And now, ballots are popping up months after elections are over.
According to the North Jersey Herald:
More than 1,600 Sussex County ballots from the July primary election were found last week and quickly counted, said Board of Elections Administrator Marge McCabe.
The 1,666 ballots cast in the July 7 primary had been placed in a “mislabeled” bin in a “secure area” at the board office and were not discovered until last Thursday. After notifying the state Attorney General’s office of the error, the remaining votes were counted Saturday and certified by the county clerk’s office the same day.
The mistake was perhaps the result of a unique election process caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, with a majority of county residents voting by mail and the Board of Elections temporarily relocating to count the votes.
The primary was held entirely by mail for the first time in New Jersey history, though some disabled citizens were allowed to vote by machines.
Fortunately the ballots didn’t change the results of the election, but 1,666 lost votes in a single county would translate to a massive number on a national scale. Swing states like Michigan were decided by a minuscule 0.3% margin (with Trump garnering 13,080 more votes) in 2016, while New Hampshire was decided by a mere 2,701 votes. How does anyone think the results in those states would be received in a situation where the winner is again decided by a razor thin margin, and there’s at least a possibility that thousands of votes could be out there uncounted?
This continues to prove that greatest problem with mail-in voting isn’t fraud (though we know that does happen), but simple government incompetence. Over 1.1 million stimulus checks were recently sent to dead people – how do we know the same wouldn’t happen with ballots? While the 1.1 million sent to the wrong people accounted for only 0.5% of stimulus checks sent (by dollar value), a 0.5% error margin is more than enough to make a difference in an election – particularly in a swing state like Michigan.