Read Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing: 5/14/2020
Vauss Predicts Friday Team Irvington Strong Wins in Unresolved South and East Wards
Irvington Mayor Tony Vauss, for his part, didn’t care to speculate earlier today about the exact specifications of the July 7th elections.
He remained locked in his own unresolved ward contests, with some percolating street allegations of ballot fraud. The mayor estimated the Essex County Board of Elections should bring the contests to a definitive conclusion on Friday – the same rough deadline, incidentally, that Murphy gave for his announcement about the next election.
“We should play it by ear,” said Vauss, leader of Team Irvington Strong. “If we’re still in this COVID-19 crisis the way we are now, I think an all-VBM election is advisable.
“Health,” he added, “absolutely remains our chief concern. It depends on people’s health, first. If we can socially distance in time for the election and the numbers continue to reflect a downward trend, sure, but health is first.”
In terms of the Irvington May 12th election itself, the mayor anticipated wins for his team in battleground races in the South and East wards, where his allies as of yesterday unofficially led their rivals respecitvely 67-32% and 54-45%, according to the clerk’s offfice.
Sumter Sees the Value of Retaining VBM Option, with Modified In-Person July 7th Voting
“I’m pushing for a hybrid,” Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter (D-35) said on the heels of the May 12th nonpartisan contests, in reference to the coming rescheduled July 7th Primary Elections.
The assemblywoman sees Paterson’s schools as ready-made polling stations, and envisions cutting 70 sites down to maybe ten, just to retain that critical option of in-person voting. Ordinarily manned by (high COVID-19-risk) senior citizens, “work with the board of ed to maybe have teachers fulfill that function.”
“I would keep the VBM option for everyone,” she added, in a nod to the ongoing, un-stamped-out virus. “I understand it will create some confusion.” But given the circumstances, she can live with it, especially with what she sees as the strong enhancement of actual polling places for those who can get there.
For more on this story, please go here.
Murphy To Join Biden Tomorrow For Roundtable
At 3:30pm on Thursday, Governor Murphy will join Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont for a COVID-19 response Virtual Roundtable hosted by Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden. The event will be livestreamed on Biden 2020 social media platforms
Wimberly Blows up Paterson’s VBM Election
If that was a trial run, then another all vote-by-mail election should not only be scrapped, but tied down, bazooked and nuked.
So says Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly (D-35) of Paterson.
“It showed the concerns many of us had,” Wimberly told InsiderNJ.
Get rid of it, he added; and replace it on July 7th with a modified regular election.
“It gave corruption a chance to rear its head,” the assemblyman said, referring to the more than 800 VBM ballots impounded at the Passaic County Board of Elections Office. “We need to figure out how to get people to vote at the polls in the primary, whether by alphabet or district, whatever it takes to keep social districting . This[nonpartisan] election exposed some of the concerns we had. In fairness, nobody could have foreseen issues with the post office. But we have to have some aspect of hard copy vote in July.”
Senate GOP Wants Investigation on Murphy Admin’s COVID-19 Response
Rice Favors Opened Polling Places – with Modifications – on July 7th
Now that the May 12th nonpartisan all-VBM (vote-by-mail) elections are over (sort of), state Senator Ronald Rice (D-28) considered the coming rescheduld July 7th primary elections in light of what just transpired in his hometown of Newark and in Atlantic City, where he was also engaged.
“If it did anything at all, the election enhanced my opinion about getting people out to vote,” said Rice, citing low voter-turnout in Newark and Atlantic City. “Thank God Atlantic City did what they did [where he opposed a change of government), but it was still a low turnout.”
Rice wants voters physically at polling places on July 7th. “We have to do this. People want to go out and vote. I’m not sure what the governor is going to do; the senate president may agree with me. I don’t know what the speaker thinks, but I know the Legislative Black Caucus backs me. I think we should do as best as we can to have elections as we do ordinarily. We can implement best practices [to minimize people exposing themselves to the COVID-19 virus], like changing spacing of machines, but what I favor – particularly after yesterday – is a modified version of a regular election.”
Ruiz: ‘When is the Invisible Individual Going to Get Respect?’
Don’t ask when the state is going to re-open, state Senator M. Teresa Ruiz (D-29) told fellow Newarkers on a Zoom conference this afternoon.
The question – Ruiz said – is:
“When is the individual who is invisible going to get the respect of the policymakers in the state of New Jersey?
Murphy Digesting May 12th Election Results ‘Pretty Aggressively’
Governor Phil Murphy this afternoon stopped short of announcing his process plans for the July 7th primary elections, a day after the May 12th nonpartisan elections.
“It’s too early to give you a full answer,” the governor told reporters at the War Memorial. “We need to make a decision on the July 7th elections. We’re digesting [yesterday’s mixed bag all-VBM results] pretty aggressively.
“Especially related to July 7th [he would be surprised if he does not have an announcment] by the end of the week,” Murphy said.
Murphy: 60% Revenue Drop in April
Detailing the financial damage due to COVID-19, Governor Murphy just announced that April revenue collections dropped $3.5B since last April, an unprecedented 60% drop. ‘These numbers are a sobering reminder’ that COVID-19 isn’t limited to impacting public health, but also to the state’s financial health.
Treasurer Muoio will release data later today, the Governor said, adding that direct federal assistance is all the more necessary and urgent; a revenue collapse without layoffs or gutting services can’t be avoided without federal aid.
They released the following:April 2020 revenue report