For Immediate Release:
DID CHRIS CHRISTIE CHARGE NEW JERSEYANS MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO HAVE THEIR VOTES NOT COUNT?
(Trenton) – The New Jersey Democratic State Committee is calling on the Christie administration to count the mail-in votes that the state wants to invalidate – votes that, in the confusion sown by the separate special election that Governor Christie scheduled yesterday, were mailed in the wrong envelope.
Not only did Chris Christie waste millions of taxpayer dollars on effectively lowering voter participation rates, his election officials had no plan for addressing barriers to voting that could have been foreseen and, in fact, were brought to the attention of the attorney general’s office by election attorneys last week.
At issue are mail-in ballots for Christie’s separate elections that were received by voters within a short timeframe and returned, either in the wrong envelope, or in the same envelope. As a result, a number of votes for the November General Election, which includes the gubernatorial and legislative contests, as well as statewide referenda are being invalidated – a problem that would not have arisen if the special general election for U.S. Senate was on November 5th.
Counties were not required to issue distinct or differently colored ballots, nor were they provided unified instructions for processing ballots received in the wrong election envelope. One county election official said the only guidance received was to reject ballots mailed errantly.
“Chris Christie governs in a wasteful, partisan, and disrespectful manner and puts his political ambition above all else,” said John Currie, Chairman of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee. “It’s unbelievable that after undermining the principle of expanded voter participation, and charging New Jerseyans with the $12 million tab, voters may become the victims of the mess he created. This administration is truly inept. Clearly, all of the mail-in ballots should be counted.”
Early in the year, Governor Christie vetoed legislation that would have allowed voters to cast ballots early, arguing, hypocritically, "I support responsible and cost-efficient election reform that increases voter participation because democracy works best when the most people vote," Christie said in the veto message."