LD26 Senate Candidate Christine Clarke Draws Contrast on Voting Rights

LD26 Senate Candidate Christine Clarke Draws Contrast on Voting Rights

Jefferson Twp., NJ:   26th Legislative District State Senate candidate Christine Clarke has released a video drawing contrast between herself and her opponent, incumbent Joe Pennacchio, on voting rights.

Pennacchio, a 2020 Trump campaign co-chairman, voted “No” earlier this year on the state resolution to condemn the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. When the resolution was up for a vote five days after the Capitol riot that cost officers their lives, Pennacchio grandstanded against it and said in his Senate floor comments that the resolution should be withdrawn.

“His defense of the effort to violently overturn the will of the voters and cause harm to Congress is consistent with his record on voting rights in New Jersey,” said Clarke.

During the pandemic, Pennacchio opposed automatic absentee ballots and voted against ballot dropboxes being placed in fair locations in each county. He voted against allowing people who sign up to vote-by-mail to opt-in to voting-by-mail in all future elections, and instead sponsored a bill that would force people who vote-by-mail to sign up to do so again every year. He sponsored a bill to purge voters from the voter rolls by sharing personally-identifying confidential information including social security numbers between state agencies to search for discrepancies as basis for the purge. He also sponsored a Voter ID bill, the likes of which have been rejected by courts in the past as a poll tax.

Pennacchio sent out multiple press releases during the pandemic criticizing vote-by-mail efforts in New Jersey and pushing in-person voting, but had previously voted against early in-person voting availability twice as well. He also opposed making vote-by-mail paper ballots available to voters for any reason at any time, and opposed the bill that made voting by mail available for annual automatic renewal without completing new yearly applications for absentee ballots.

“Joe Pennacchio does not support voters’ rights to vote nor efforts to make voting easy, accessible and safe,” said Clarke. “Protecting the right to vote and the ability to safely, legally and securely cast a ballot, the integrity of our elections and their results, are all supposed to be American priorities exempt from partisanship and politics. My opponent’s positions are too extreme for District 26 and for New Jersey.”

Clarke is endorsed by a growing number of groups focused on good governance and best practices. Learn more about her, invest in the race or volunteer with the campaign at ClarkeForSenate.com.

The 26th District includes 13 communities in Essex, Morris, and Passaic counties: Butler, Fairfield, Jefferson, Kinnelon, Lincoln Park, Montville, Morris Plains, North Caldwell, Parsippany, Rockaway Township, Verona, West Caldwell, and West Milford.

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