DENVILLE – “We’re doing better every day,” Laura Ali, the Morris County Republican chair, happily told loyal supporters Sunday morning at a Get-Out-The-Vote rally in a township park.
By that, Ali meant Republicans are catching up with Democrats in the number of ballots already turned in.
In this odd election year, voting itself is an issue with Republicans criticizing the state’s decision to limit in-person voting because of the pandemic. Democrats traditionally have done a better job than Republicans with vote-by-mail ballots, an advantage that can be more significant this year.
The U.S. Elections Project, which studies election data, estimates that about 58 million people already have voted nationwide and that about 5 million more of them have been registered Democrats.
In contrast to some other GOP officials, Ali has told party members to stop complaining and to vote by mail, or via a drop-box.
State Sen. Anthony M. Bucco, who joined CD-11 congressional candidate Rosemary Becchi and Freeholder Tayfun Selen at today’s rally, made the same point.
Bucco, who seeks reelection in a special LD-25 election, was enthusiastic about his Saturday.
“We launched 40 union members to go out and knock on doors for us,” he said. Bucco said the union members are on his side because they’re not pleased with the state’s economy under Phil Murphy.
All this is nice, but as the senator knows, there’s more involved.
“We can’t win if (our supporters) don’t drop their ballots off,” he said.
Becchi, who was heading out to do some canvassing, was the featured attraction.
Ali, in fact, introduced her as someone “who can become president of the United States.”
Becchi, who at this point will settle on being a member of Congress, relied on a familiar campaign theme – incumbent Mikie Sherrill is too “far left.”
This can be a tough sell when dealing with a former Navy helicopter pilot, but Becchi isn’t backing away, contending that Sherrill supported a bill that would allow “criminals” to sue police.
This was a police reform bill in the House that would make it easier for individuals to file federal lawsuits against police officers who commit acts of possible misconduct.