‘We will not allow a small number of criminals to undermine the public’s confidence in our democratic process…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced last week that four people, including a city councilman and a councilman-elect, will be charged with voting fraud after an investigation found that one in five mail-in ballots were fraudulent.
Paterson City Councilman Michael Jackson, Councilman-Elect Alex Mendez, Shelim Khalique and Abu Razyen are being charged with criminal conduct for using mail-in ballots to sway the May 12 municipal election, Grewal said.
Grewal’s investigation began after the U.S. Postal Inspection Service found hundreds of mail-in ballots in a mailbox in Paterson. Numerous additional ballots were found in another mailbox down the road, Grewal said in a press release.
Authorities also found that an additional 2,300 ballots were invalid because the signatures on the ballots did not match their voting records.
As a result, at least 20% of the ballots submitted during the election were declared fraudulent.
Jackson reportedly approached multiple Paterson voters in the district where he was running and collected their official mail-in ballots. A candidate is never allowed to deliver or receive ballots, according to New Jersey law.
Mendez similarly engaged in false voter registration, transfer, tampering with public records, falsifying records and possessing mail-in ballots illegally, Grewal found.
These allegations are particularly stunning given the Democrats’ recent efforts to ramp up mail-in voting due to the coronavirus pandemic.
President Donald Trump and the GOP have warned that voting by mail can lead to serious fraud—an allegation that has been largely dismissed by the Democrats. But the case in Paterson, New Jersey proves that individuals can and will take advantage of the lax system.
“Today’s charges send a clear message: If you try to tamper with an election in New Jersey, we will find you and we will hold you accountable,” Grewal said in a statement. “We will not allow a small number of criminals to undermine the public’s confidence in our democratic process.”