New Jersey: Lawmaker Backs Away from Allowing Early Tabulation of Mail-In Ballots | Nancy Solomon/WNYC
A New Jersey lawmaker is backing away from a proposal that would have allowed the state’s 21 counties to count vote-by-mail ballots one week before Election Day. The provision is buried in a bill sponsored by state Sen. James Beach (D-Cherry Hill). The stated purpose of the bill is to give county clerks more time to prepare for the 2020 primary. But the provision allowing each county’s Board of Elections to open and count mail-in ballots a week early has drawn the ire of some progressive activists. “We’re calling it legalized cheating,” said Yael Niv, president of the Good Government Coalition of New Jersey. County elections staff are often closely tied to party machines in the state. Under the proposed legislation, early results are supposed to be confidential. But Niv said she’s worried that candidates backed by the machine could gain an edge and better direct their resources if county employees share the early vote totals. “They have a whole week to send their canvassers, to send their pamphlets, and the money, and the ads and everything that they need to those places,” Niv said.Full Article: NJ Lawmaker Backs Away from Allowing Early Tabulation of Mail-In Ballots | WNYC News | WNYC.