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O’Scanlon Unveils His Plans

In New Jersey Business:

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-13) today unveiled plans to introduce legislation to combat the proliferation of ‘messenger’ ballots, often used in fraudulent ways to impact local and state elections. After reading reports of investigations into the large numbers of ‘messenger ballots’ – ballots intended only for the sick and incapacitated that are filled out and physically delivered with third-party help – impacting local elections across the State, Assemblymen O’Scanlon proposed the following changes:

Limiting the number of ballots both ‘messengers’ and ‘bearers’ can handle to 2 ballots per elections.

Currently, ‘messengers’ or those that deliver the ballots to the registered voter to be filled out, are limited to 10 ballots per cycle. This legislation would limit that number to two. ‘Bearers’, or those that deliver the ballots physically to the county clerk, currently have no limits on how many ballots they can handle. This number would also be capped at two.

Messenger’ ballots can only be obtained ten days prior to the election.

This will cut down on the wide-scale practice that has occurred in places like Paterson, Atlantic City, Asbury Park, and Hoboken where large numbers of messenger ballots have been mined for months leading up to the election – sometimes as much as 1 / 4th of the total number of ballots cast.

“This legislation will reduce the risk of the wide-scale potential coercion – or worse – currently being perpetrated by campaigns across the State. Messenger ballots are intended only for the sick and the infirm. Unless someone has an emergent, debilitating physical condition there is no reason to involve a third party in directly handling ones ballot. It is curious that in many of these municipalities, the sick and infirm have been overwhelmingly in favor – sometimes as high as 95% – in favor of one particular candidate or ticket. This legislation will take one tool away from those who wish to defraud our electoral process” said Assemblyman O’Scanlon.

One Comment

  1. Guest wrote:

    Interesting that Belmar has this practice in common with towns like Paterson, Atlantic City, and Newark. It’s starting to feel like those towns also.

    Thursday, November 27, 2014 at 9:02 am | Permalink

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