The president’s re-election campaign has said New Jersey’s mail-in ballot plan is susceptible to voter fraud.
President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign has filed a lawsuit against New Jersey after state Gov. Phil Murphy issued an executive order mandating that every eligible voter receive a mail-in ballot.
According to Reuters, the lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for New Jersey on Tuesday; the president’s campaign hopes to block the enactment of “Executive Order 177.”
That order, notes Reuters, would provide every New Jersey resident with a mail-in ballot for the November election. Voters who would prefer to visit the polls in-person will be permitted to do so.
However, President Trump has adopted an increasingly outspoken position against absentee voting. Even as coronavirus continues to claim lives across the country, Trump has insisted that in-person voting is the only way to prevent widespread voter fraud.
In its lawsuit, the Trump campaign alleges both that Gov. Murphy lacks the authority to change election laws, and that his executive order “will violate eligible citizens’ right to vote.”
Justin Clark, the Trump campaign’s deputy manager, recently penned an opinion article in the Wall Street Journal. In it, Clark claimed that New Jersey residents “who want to vote in person face a real threat that their ballots won’t be counted.”
Clark, adds The Hill, cited a 2016 investigation by the Ashbury Park Press, which identified 2,460 deceased voters still listed on registration rolls. Of those 2,460 deceased voters, some 60 had cast votes—after they were already dead.
But the Press did not make any wide-ranging allegation of voter fraud. Instead, the paper suspected that deceased voters’ ballots had been counted due to clerical error—and regardless, their “participation” had not affected the outcome of any election.
“All this shows how the state voting rolls have many more names than live voters, but voting records show there is no apparent intentional fraud, at least when it comes to ‘dead’ voting,” the Press wrote. “In a pool of 4.9 million voters, it would take a zombie army to change the outcome of a statewide election.”
To date, there is no evidence that absentee voting has ever resulted in elections fraud in the United States.
So—rather than trying to correct a legitimate grievance—the president’s political insist that Trump is trying to minimize voter turnout to bolster his chances of retaining the White House. Speaking at a Wednesday press conference, Gov. Murphy said that “the President’s campaign is putting itself on record as wanting to delegitimize our November election instead of working with us to ensure that voters rights are upheld alongside public health.”
In response to the Trump campaign’s lawsuit, Murphy said: “bring it on.”