Hundreds of Republican voters receive wrong mail-in ballots due to printing error
A printing error led to hundreds of Republicans registered in Somerset County accidentally getting mail-in ballots for Democratic candidates.
New Jersey’s primary election was delayed to July 7 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The state and Gov. Phil Murphy have mailed millions of absentee ballots to all Republicans and Democrats in the state and are encouraging everyone to vote by mail.
The Somerset County clerk says that a printing effort meant that 500-700 Republican voters in Bernardsville received Democratic ballots.
County Clerk Steve Peter says that there is no evidence of malicious intent. The ballots were printed by Verona-based Reliance Ballots. The company says the ballots got caught up in a plate change and that the correct ballots should be in voters’ mailboxes by Thursday.
Peter says that there is no evidence that any Republicans chose to fill out and send in the incorrect ballots and there is no indication that there have been more mix-ups elsewhere in the county.
The governor did not comment about the mix-up, but said that voting by mail protects public health while preserving the right to vote.
“Voting is the sacred stone in democracy and to allow as many folks as possible is a huge imperative,” Murphy said.
The governor also said that he will wait to decide on whether the primary election is a dry run for what the November presidential election will look like in New Jersey.
“We’ll certainly want to see how July 7 goes, but that guidance – there’s no need to do that now. We don’t do it now. The more information and history we have, particularly from a health perspective, the better a decision we’ll make,” Murphy said.
Reliance Ballots has apologized for the printing error.