Many continue to criticize President Donald Trump for speaking out against mail-in voting, claiming that fraud of that nature is rare or even nonexistent. But recent events clearly suggest otherwise.
The Washington Examiner reports that four individuals have been arrested in New Jersey and charged in a fraudulent vote-by-mail scheme.
Mail-in vote fraud alleged
The situation, according to NJ.com, occurred during the special election that took place in New Jersey, back on May 12 — a contest in which the Passaic County Board of Elections decided not to count some 800 individual ballots that were discovered in various locations across the area.
An investigation commenced after reports emerged that hundreds of mail-in ballots were found in two mailboxes, one in the city of Paterson and another in Haledon. This eventually led authorities to hone in on four suspects.
Two of the individuals allegedly involved were Paterson City Councilman Michael Jackson and Councilman-elect Alex Mendez, and the fraudulent activities of which they are accused took place in the district in which they were seeking office. The other suspects in the case have been identified as Shelim Khalique and Abu Razyen, both of Passaic County, NJ.com reported.
Mendez and Jackson are accused of approaching individual citizens and offering to deliver their mail-in ballots for them, despite failing to obtain the necessary authorized “bearer” signature and designation from the actual voter. In addition, Mendez is accused of taking and filing a voter registration application for someone who was in fact ineligible to vote. Khalique and Razyen were also found to be in possession of ballots that were not theirs, according to NJ.com.
Criminal charges issued
According to the Examiner, the four men are now facing a whole range of charges, including, “fraud related to casting mail-in votes, unauthorized possession of ballots, tampering with public records, and falsifying public records.”
Mendez, for his part, is also facing a charge of election fraud. Both New Jersey’s attorney general, Gurbir Grewal, and Paterson’s mayor, Andre Sayegh, have released statements on the matter, the Examiner noted.
“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, according to the Examiner. “We will not allow a small number of criminals to undermine the public’s confidence in our democratic process.”
Sayegh stated: “While it’s gravely disappointing to see another episode of potential corruption in Paterson, I remain hopeful that this is the final chapter in what unfortunately has plagued our city for generations.”
Warning for November
For President Trump and Republicans, this is precisely the type of conduct of which they have been warning, particularly amid calls from Democrats to expand vote-by-mail options ahead of the November election.
With the threat of a second wave of coronavirus infections potentially jeopardizing traditional methods of voting this fall, it is incumbent on Americans to remain on guard against scenarios like the one that unfolded in New Jersey so that every voter can have faith in the integrity of our country’s electoral process.