Court Requiring Board of Elections to Examine Ballots Republicans Wanted Rejected
(MAYS LANDING) Today, the Atlantic County Democratic Committee and Democratic Board of Elections commissioners John Mooney and Audrey Miles thwarted repeated attempts by the Atlantic County Republicans to disenfranchise Atlantic City voters.
“The Democratic Party is the party of voter participation and inclusion,” said Atlantic County Democratic Chairman Michael Suleiman. “Democracy works through voting, not gamesmanship. That’s why ACDC intervened in support of counting these votes. I appreciate the efforts of our attorney Robert Herman and commissioners John Mooney and Audrey Miles for fighting for voters’ rights.”
In the May 12 municipal election in Atlantic City, 33 mail-in ballots were filled out and returned to the Atlantic County Board of Elections. However, because the voters didn’t sign a duplicative certification form, Republicans commissioners tried to disqualify these votes.
During today’s hearing before Superior Court Assignment Judge Julio L. Mendez, and in opposition to Republican arguments to reject voters, ACDC election law attorney Robert D. Herman of Linwood asked, “In what alternate universe should a voter be disenfranchised for not signing a duplicate certification? This is sufficient to deny a citizen’s right to vote? It’s purely form over function of the worst kind.” As part of their submission to the Court, the ACDC implored Judge Mendez, “before excluding otherwise lawful votes because of technicalities–especially votes arising from communities which historically suffered tremendous pain under the yolk of suppression–common sense, reasoning, logic, and most importantly, fairness, should not be disregarded.”
Judge Mendez ruled that the Board of Elections cannot outright reject these ballots due to a missing duplicate certification. Judge Mendez then directed the Board of Elections to examine the vote-by-mail signatures, and where signatures match, the votes should be counted.
“Every single vote matters and has a right to be counted, period.” said Suleiman.