VBM Division at the Heart of ‘Trump Country’

Trump country.

MIDDLETOWN – Voting continues to divide Republicans.

Piera Accumanno of Cedar Grove has developed a web site devoted to banning mail-in voting.

“Do not lose possession of your ballot,” she said before speaking at a rally today in a local park opposing vote-by-mail. Her solution is for people to hand deliver their completed ballots to their local county board of election office.

That’s one approach.

But also on hand today was Gerry Scharfenberger, an assemblyman from Monmouth County. He urged voters to drop their ballots in one of a number of “lock-boxes” that will be located in many municipalities.

Neither individual advocated mailing in the ballot, which is the central idea of the state’s pandemic-era plan.

Accumanno said Republicans don’t trust the mail, postulating that the U.S. Postal Service, or at least some of the workers, are “activists” and/or supporters of Joe Biden.

This is one of the bizarre developments of Election 2020. The Post Office itself is seen by some as a controversial player.

As is often the case in these situations, some of what you hear challenges reality.

Some said the lock-boxes can be stolen and hauled away.

Another speaker said her primary voting experience was unsettling; she had voted in person. That will be allowed on Nov. 3 as well, but like the primary, this will be a provisional ballot.

The speaker’s gripe was that poll workers asked her if she was a Republican or a Democrat. Well, that is what happens during a primary.

Scharfenberger, by the way, urged people not to vote in person, saying a provisional ballot may not be counted unless it affects the outcome.

There is a lawsuit by the president’s campaign and the state Republican Committee to block the state’s voting plan. This includes mailing in a ballot, putting it in a lock-box, handing it to election workers or voting (provisionally) in person on Election Day.

But many Republicans – verbiage aside – seem to be coming around to the idea that things are not going to change.

“We have to deal with it.” Scharfenberger admitted.

The problem is that many on the right continue to question vote-by-mail, which can only hurt Republican turnout.

Today’s rally included many Trump flags, patriotic music and speakers supporting other conservative causes such as opposition to mandatory vaccination and remote learning.

The governor, who lives nearby, was condemned as a “monarch” who has committed “crimes against humanity.”

And as is the norm at many right-wing rallies, virtually no attendees wore masks.

Attendance, though, was disappointing. About an hour or so after the rally’s official start, there could not have been much more than 100 to 125 people at Bodman Park.

The slim turnout didn’t dull anyone’s optimism.

Scharfenberger boldly stated that if the election is fair, President Trump can carry New Jersey and New York.

That would be kind of an upset.

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