Monmouth freeholders oppose exclusive use of mail-in ballots for Nov. election

The Monmouth County Board of Freeholders has unanimously passed a resolution opposing the exclusive use of mail-in ballots for the Nov. 3 general election and all future elections.

The freeholders took the action during a July 23 meeting, according to a press release from the county.

“My fellow freeholders and I are gravely concerned as the exclusive mail-in ballot ‘experiment’ (for the July 7 primary election) has been difficult at best and should not be conducted when selecting individuals to lead boards of educations, political parties and bodies of government,” Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone said.

“As we have seen repeatedly in the past, using mail-in ballots increases the risk of voter fraud and causes delays in counting ballots,” he said.

This year, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal has already charged individuals with illegally collecting and processing ballots in an election, which occurred in Paterson, according to the press release.

The Attorney General’s charges against the two winning Paterson City Council candidates allege that votes had been cast in the names of deceased residents and those who have indicated they did not receive vote-by-mail ballots, according to the press release.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, New Jersey law permitted residents to request mail-in ballots for any reason, therefore enhancing voter choice, while other individuals still preferred to cast their ballot electronically on Election Day in order to fully assess the latest information available, according to the press release.

“The freeholder board believes voter choice should refer to ‘how to vote,’ in addition to ‘who to vote for,’ in any given election cycle,” Arnone said.

“On behalf of the board, I urge the secretary of state and the 21 county clerks to use in-person voting in conjunction with mail-in balloting come Nov. 3. After regularly corresponding with the Governor’s Office about this matter, we hope a decision is made before our next meeting,” he said.