NJ GOP Seeks Federal Election Monitoring of July 7 Primary

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -

New Jersey Republicans on Tuesday asked the state’s top federal prosecutor to monitor the July 7 primary over concerns that the mostly vote-by-mail election could lead to “disenfranchisement” of voters.

The GOP state committee’s letter to U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito cites news reports of undelivered ballots in the May 12 municipal election in Paterson, along with what the party says were high numbers of rejected ballots from the municipal elections.

A message was left with Carpenito’s office seeking a response, as well as with the New Jersey Secretary of State, who oversees elections.

Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy mandated that the primary move from June 2 to July 7 because of the COVID-19 outbreak. He also required the election be mostly conducted by mail-in ballots, though each county is required to keep 50% of its polling locations open so people who want to vote in person with a provisional ballot may do so.

During a news conference Tuesday, Gov. Murphy criticized the request.

“That’s a political talking point,” he said. “That’s ridiculous.”

He urged people to vote by mail.