TRENTON, N.J. — It’s been reported that the U.S. Attorney’s Office has charged a Hoboken woman, alleging that she paid voters to submit mail-in ballot applications.
“Voter fraud is real, it is happening in New Jersey, and we have a duty to do everything in our power to protect the integrity of our electoral process. We will not stand by and allow slick political operatives to disenfranchise voters. Clearly, a stronger deterrent is necessary,” stare Senator Sam Thompson (R-Middlesex) said Thursday. “We cannot continue to turn a blind eye to this threat to our democracy. We must ensure people who commit voter fraud receive a punishment that fits the crime.”
Thompson says he’ll introduce legislation to make exerting undue influence over other individual’s votes, by bribes or similar means, a second degree offense of aggravated voter fraud.
Convicted perpetrators would receive 5 and 10 years in prison and face a staggering $150,000 fine.
Thompson is a consistent watchdog on the voter fraud front. Back in April, Thompson railed against automatic voter registration absent effective oversight; back in February, he sough to amend legislation to increase mail-in ballot penalties but was frustrated by the Democrat Majority.
This year’s controversial new automatic mail-in ballot changes are only raising cause for concern among those who closely watch elections for possible fraudulent opportunities. As of Monday night? Democrats had a 48% to 21% edge over Republicans (by registration) in the category of mail-in ballot returned. Hudson County alone had issued over 16,000 mail-in ballots as of October 29th.
“Mail-in ballots have always been easy-pickings for people who commit voter fraud, and the recent changes to election law have only made it worse. Voters are more vulnerable now than ever before. Anyone who thinks that the Hudson County case is an anomaly is kidding themselves,” Senator Thompson added.
“We must take action to stop dirty campaigners from rigging our elections. If we are going to change the standards for registering to vote, then we have to do more to make sure that each ballot is actually worthy of being counted. I hope that Legislative leaders will seize this opportunity to safeguard our elections by passing my bill to increase penalties for extreme voter fraud as soon as possible.”