Senator Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso (both R-Monmouth) today called for Governor Murphy to allow residents to vote in person at polls if they provide their sealed, mail-in ballot to poll workers to demonstrate they haven’t already voted by mail.
“Voting and election integrity is critical to our democracy. Another fully vote-by-mail election when safety protocols should allow us to proceed with in-person voting is not only absurd and unacceptable, but highly concerning as well,” said O’Scanlon. “The administration claims that residents can still vote in person should they wish, but they must vote by provisional ballot since there is no way to ensure that a resident has not already submitted their mail-in ballot. That is rendered false should a voter present their sealed, mail-in ballot at the polls on election day. Those individuals should be able to vote in-person on machine as in any other election.
“Safety protocols as have been utilized at retail and other establishments have thoroughly demonstrated activities such as these can be conducted safely, in person,” said O’Scanlon. “If folks don’t even open the ballot and can present it to poll workers to verify they haven’t already voted by mail, then let them vote on a machine in a voting booth.”
“If presenting a sealed, mail-in ballot at the polls isn’t proof that a resident hasn’t already voted by mail, frankly, I don’t know what else would,” DiMaso continued. “We’ve been vocal about the fact that we very strongly believe in-person voting can safely be conducted but we’re at the point where it is clear the Governor and majority are not going to allow that to happen. The next best thing is to attempt to preserve some of our voting integrity by giving people the option to vote normally in person if they can supply their sealed mail-in ballot as proof they haven’t already voted. We are drafting a bill that would make that an option this November. When the administration places these concerning restrictions and obstacles in our way, it is our duty as legislators to not only fight against them, but to explore every other possible avenue available to help our residents.”