MORRIS COUNTY — “Today we got just a taste of what Murphy’s illegal free-for-all election will mean to the legitimacy of this year’s general election. A Passaic County judge has ordered an expensive do-over in Paterson, our state’s third-largest city, a city that disenfranchised thousands of voters in May when 20 percent of mail-in ballots were ruled invalid and candidates were charged with fraud by the state Attorney General’s Office. Looking at the mayhem that happened in Paterson, only a knucklehead would force the entire state to vote by mail.
“The state constitution clearly states that general elections are to be scheduled the first Tuesday of November, and that date may only be altered by state law. The Governor, however, thinks the virus gives him near-unlimited powers to disregard the law and decide for himself when and how the state will conduct its elections. That is why today the Trump administration, along with the Republican National Committee and New Jersey State GOP, decided to sue the governor, a lawsuit I support, and am seeking to have the Morris County GOP join.
“Morris County has a duly elected and highly capable county clerk that is charged with overseeing our election process and ultimately certifying the results. In light of the legal challenges, I am asking the Clerk to prepare to hold in-person elections, with appropriate safeguards in place, to include the possibility of outdoor, staggered voting. I would personally work with our Clerk as well as the Secretary of State, who is responsible for elections, to ensure proper social distancing protocols are followed while not infringing on our fundamental right to vote. And for those who are at-risk or feel it’s unsafe, they may request an absentee ballot, a controlled, alternative way of voting by mail that already exists.
“Morris County can handle its own fair and open elections, in accordance with the law, and does not wish to be under the thumb of our would-be dictator. However, if the lawsuit should fail, I am going further and would ask the county clerk to refuse to certify the all-mail election, as the legality of the election would be in question as would the validity of the ballots.
“There are few rights as precious as the right to vote, an exercise in citizenship Americans hold in high regard. And here in Morris County, the Crossroads of the American Revolution, we especially value the franchise given the high costs that were paid to secure that right.”
Morris County Freeholder Tom Mastrangelo