Corrado: How will the Murphy Administration Ensure the Integrity of our Upcoming Election?
In a letter to Secretary of State Tahesha Way, Senator Kristin Corrado today called on the Murphy Administration to make sure appropriate protocols are in place to ensure the integrity and security of the upcoming general election, particularly with the implementation of new voting machines and early voting.
“Since September 2020, I have written several letters to New Jersey Secretary of State Tahesha Way to request that the election process be made fully transparent while ensuring both County Clerks and the Board of Elections can deliver fair and accurate election results,” said Corrado (R-40). “I have heard from many constituents who are justifiably concerned about the numerous cases of voter fraud, ballot tampering, incorrect counting, and postal issues over the past year. We need to ensure the accuracy and fairness of the many crucial local, county, state, and federal elections so the rightful winners may represent the people of New Jersey.”
Prior to today, Senator Corrado had written four letters to Secretary Way since September 16, 2020:
- In her first letter, Corrado asked Secretary Way to direct all New Jersey county clerks to post sample ballots online as soon as possible.
- Her second letter requested that each Board of Elections be required to publicly post their plans to count the ballots.
- In her third letter, Corrado demanded a full explanation of the circumstances surrounding 6,535 mail-in-ballots that were incorrectly postmarked for the wrong day during New Jersey’s primary election.
- Her fourth letter asked how the automatic voter registration system, operated by the Motor Vehicle Commission, would prevent the hundreds of thousands of undocumented residents—who were eligible to apply for New Jersey driver’s licenses starting May 1, 2021—from being registered to vote illegally.
According to Corrado, there are several significant challenges that the Murphy Administration has not addressed for the upcoming general election: new voting machines to be used during early voting; the Statewide Voter Registration System (“SVRS”); fraudulent activity in the vote-by-mail system; MVC’s flawed voter registration process; and securing enough trained poll workers for in-person voting. With these concerns in mind, Corrado wrote a fifth letter to Secretary Way (click here for PDF).
“In addition to the newly instituted early voting in our State, there are also new voting machines in nearly every New Jersey county,” said Corrado. “There appears to be a lack of consistency with both the older and new machines being used. It has been brought to my attention that some counties are using new machines for early voting and the older machines will be used on Election Day. It is my understanding that, currently, there is no way to integrate the two systems of voting machines. This means that a significant portion of voting results will need to be manually entered. What protocols are being implemented to ensure that this will be done is a consistent and accurate manner?”
“To this day, voter fraud, particularly with mail-in-ballots, is an all too real issue that can undermine the integrity of New Jersey’s elections,” added Corrado. “In fact, during my time as the Passaic County Clerk, I saw major cases of voter fraud. And, during the last election, several major cities, such as Paterson and Atlantic City, have had vote-by-mail ballots targeted for abuse. It’s crucial that we take steps to ensure that our democratic elections remain free and fair.”
To combat and prevent voter fraud with vote-by-mail ballots, Corrado sponsored S-3053 in October 2020. The bill requires the New Jersey Attorney General to create a voting fraud task force. As of October 2021, democrats have refused to vote on the bill, and instead, have left it in committee.
“Another critical issue that needs to be addressed concerns undocumented residents and their ability to register to vote at the MVC,” said Corrado. “According to MVC Chief Sue Fulton, undocumented residents are essentially on an honor system. The MVC clearly expects that some people who are ineligible to vote will not be filtered out of the automatic voter registration (AVR) process, depending on the information that is presented with their transaction. Those undocumented residents will then have to opt-out of automatic voter registration, assuming they understand the language or the warnings presented to them about the penalties for registering to vote illegally.”
The repeated failures of the MVC and the Murphy administration to manage technology assets and computer systems effectively are well documented. Computer outages, backlogs, and long lines have consistently prevented the MVC from serving New Jerseyans effectively.
“Although there are significant flaws with New Jersey’s vote-by-mail system, as well as the MVC’s voter registration process, we still have legitimate problems concerning traditional, in-person voting,” added Corrado. “For months, I have called on the Murphy Administration to increase the pay of poll workers to $400 in order to address the significant shortage of workers across the state. This increase could easily be funded with some of the $6 billion in federal aid that Governor Murphy is sitting on.”
The increase in poll worker pay from $200 to $400 was outlined in A-5842, a bipartisan bill that Corrado supported and that passed both houses in June 2021 while receiving overwhelming support from both parties.
“After my consistent calls for a wage increase for election workers, Governor Murphy finally raised the pay, and announced that New Jersey recruited 13,500 new poll workers last week,” said Corrado. “Not surprisingly, the workers are not familiar with the electronic pollbooks or the new machines. And, with only around one week until early, in-person voting begins, who knows if they will ever receive the proper training. Unfortunately, this type of governing is quite typical of the Murphy Administration—it always seems to be ‘a day late and a dollar short.”