Hundreds of registered New Jersey Republicans received misprinted mail-in primary ballots featuring Democrat candidates — a mistake the printing company has attributed to “human error.”
Bernardsville Republican Municipal Committee chairwoman Karen Gardner alerted the Somerset County Republican Organization of the grave error after noticing Democrat candidates listed on the ballot she received in the mail. The ballots were sent via Gov. Phil Murphy’s (D) executive order, requiring ballots to be sent to every registered voter ahead of the state’s July 7 primary.
“The slate of candidates was all Democrat from Joe Biden down to dogcatcher, but on the upper right it clearly stated it was a Republican ballot and it had my name and correct information on the return envelope,” Gardner said, according to NJ.
As it turned out, anywhere from 500-700 of the 2,400 registered Republican voters in Bernardsville received a misprinted ballot listing Democrat candidates instead of Republicans.
While the county clerk’s office typically prepares the ballots, the office outsourced the work to the printing company Reliance Graphics, Inc., due to the governor’s last-minute order requiring county election officials to send ballots to all registered Republican and Democrat voters and VBM ballot applications to “unaffiliated and inactive voters,” citing coronavirus-related concerns.
“No one should have to choose between their health and exercising their right to vote,” Murphy said in a May statement.
“By providing vote-by-mail ballots and applications, New Jersey voters will be able to safely participate in our democracy as the pandemic continues to threaten our public health,” the governor added.
Notably, Somerset County Clerk Steve Peter said the PDF proof, which Reliance sent over ahead of printing and distribution, posed no issue. However, Reliance President Bob Fetterly called the mistake a “human error but would not elaborate on what exactly happened or why the error only affected 500 to 700 Bernardsville Republicans,” according to NJ.
“It was a misprint,” Fetterly said. “Human error. We mailed over 1.5 million ballots in the last couple of weeks and 500 went astray. So we apologized for it, but it was a human error… we had a success rate of 99.99 percent.”
New ballots were sent to all registered Republican voters in the county, along with an explanation. The original ballots will be voided, and Reliance is absorbing the costs of the error:
Corrected ballots with a slip explaining the error were sent back out to all 2,400 Bernardsville Republicans on June 16. The erroneous ballots will be voided, and even so, Republican voters cannot cast votes for Democrats in a New Jersey primary. Reliance will swallow the reprinting and postage costs, at no added expense to taxpayers, Peter said.
Ultimately, Peter believes the error would not have occurred, had the ballots been produced in-house.
“If we had had a greater lead time when we were sending out these ballots, we would have been able to do the ballot insertion in-house and this error would have been caught,” Peter said, adding that he has “implored” the governor and legislature to make a timely decision on conducting a vote-by-mail election — no later than August 1 — so the office can have “adequate time to prepare these ballots and we can do the insertion in our office to ensure quality control.”
Concerns continue to rise as Democrats across the country demand widespread vote-by-mail for November’s election — a method that Republicans warn severely increases the risks of fraud. Progressive politicians like Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) have dismissed such concerns as “BS,” despite no shortage of examples demonstrating the risks involved with widespread vote-by-mail. Officials in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for example, admitted last month that an unknown number of duplicate ballots were sent out to registered voters, though they claim that the issue has since been resolved:
The duplicate mail-in ballot issues come as Allegheny County officials have reached a settlement with the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) to clean up its voter rolls, which reportedly include 1,600 dead people, close t0 7,500 voter registrations flagged as duplicates, 1,523 registered voters who claim to be 100-years-old and over, and 1,178 registered voters who are missing dates of birth.
About 28.4 million mail-in ballots have gone missing over the course of the last four election cycles, according to federal data.
As Breitbart News detailed:
In 2012, for instance, more than 33 million mail-in ballots were sent to registered voters. Of those, nearly four million went missing, more than 425,000 were undeliverable, and almost 260,000 were rejected.
For the 2014 election cycle, the number of mail-in ballots that went missing spiked to more than eight million. In that election, 29.2 million mail-in ballots were sent to registered voters. More than 610,000 of those mail-in ballots were undeliverable, and about 269,000 were rejected. Another 8.2 million of those mail-in ballots went missing.
As Breitbart News reported, a total of about 16.4 million mail-in ballots went missing for the 2016 and 2018 elections after about 84 million mail-in ballots were sent to registered voters in those two election cycles.
Attorney General William Barr, during a recent appearance on Fox News Channel’s Sunday Morning Futures, warned that mail-in ballots “absolutely open[s] the floodgates to fraud.”
“Those things are delivered into mailboxes. They can be taken out. There’s questions about whether or not it even denies a secret ballot because a lot of the states have you signing the outside of the envelope,” Barr said.
“So the person who opens — person who opens the envelope will know how people voted. There’s no — right now, a foreign country could print up tens of thousands of counterfeit ballots, and be very hard for us to detect which was the right and which was the wrong ballot,” he continued.
“So, I think it can — it can upset and undercut the confidence in the integrity of our elections,” the attorney general added. “If anything, we should tighten them up right now.”
President Trump also weighed in on the raging debate over mail-in ballots, predicting that they will cause 2020 to be “the most RIGGED Election in our nations history – unless this stupidity is ended”:
Because of MAIL-IN BALLOTS, 2020 will be the most RIGGED Election in our nations history – unless this stupidity is ended. We voted during World War One & World War Two with no problem, but now they are using Covid in order to cheat by using Mail-Ins!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2020