Election 2020

Trump Campaign Sues New Jersey Over the State's Mail-In Ballot Proposal

(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

The Trump campaign is suing the state of New Jersey over its plan to go to a hybrid voting system for November. Each registered voter will receive a ballot and will have the option of voting in person or by mail. Most states mail absentee ballot registration forms and send ballots only to those who respond. The potential for fraud is obviously greater when so many ballots are in circulation.

CNN is quick to point out that incidents of fraud in American voting are few.

Trump himself has repeatedly said that expanding mail-in voting options will result in fraud. In reality, there is no widespread voter fraud in US elections, and nonpartisan experts say neither party automatically benefits when states expand access to mail-in voting.

That’s because few states are dumb enough to send actual ballots through the mail to all registered voters. This is the first election where that’s being tried and no one — certainly no “nonpartisan experts” — know how fraud might impact an election.

Nevada is also trying to send out official ballots to be mailed back by residents and the Trump campaign is suing them too.

The lawsuit alleges that the executive order usurps the legislature’s authority to decide when and how elections are held. It also alleges that the “system will violate eligible citizens’ right to vote” and that “fraudulent and invalid votes dilute the votes of honest citizens and deprive them of their right to vote in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.”

Both the governor’s office and Secretary of State Tahesha Way said they could not comment on pending litigation.

Governor Phil Murphy is breezily confident the new system will work out fine.

Murphy also said the state learned some lessons since the primary and will “have more presence of secure drop boxes, make sure there is that physical in voting capacity, and as it relates to mail-in ballots, the good news is in a general election, it doesn’t matter what party you’re in, everybody gets a ballot.”

For those who want to vote in person, Murphy said they will “do what we call ‘provisional voting’ because the folks won’t necessarily know at the voting location whether or not whether you actually already mailed a ballot in. That’s what we did in the primary. Little bit more cumbersome, but it works.”

“Cumbersome” is government-speak for chaos. Some people are going to double-vote deliberately. Others will do it out of ignorance. Will every precinct have access to the state’s registered voter database? If they do, how do they prevent it from being hacked? It’s a clusterfark waiting to happen.