President Trump takes aim at Paterson over ballots. But is his criticism warranted?

President Donald Trump once again criticized Paterson as he tries to make the case against mail-in voting. But is this criticism warranted?

News 12 Staff

Jul 15, 2020, 3:12 PM

Updated 1,379 days ago

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President Donald Trump once again criticized Paterson as he tries to make the case against mail-in voting. But is this criticism warranted?
“I’m very worried about mail-in voting, because I think it’s subject to tremendous fraud and being rigged,” Trump said. “You see that in Paterson, New Jersey, where I believe 20% of the vote was fraudulent.”
The president’s statement is partially true. More than 3,000 votes cast in this year’s municipal elections were rejected, according to the Passaic County Board of Elections. Not all of the votes were mail-in ballots. But there were some serious problems with those ballots, too.
A Paterson councilman, councilman-elect and two campaign workers were charged with violating state election laws.
“Bundles of ballots were found in mailboxes. They shouldn’t have been bundled or stacked together, because then that says something is terribly wrong,” said Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh.
So, what does this mean for voting by mail? Trump says that it simply cannot be trusted.
“You’ll have tremendous fraud if you do these mail-in ballots,” Trump said.
But some political experts tell News 12 New Jersey that this is not correct.
“Every academic study shows that voter fraud, widespread voter fraud, is simply a myth,” says Ben Dworkin, who heads the Rowan Institute for Public Policy and Citizenship. “What happened in Paterson is terrible. But I think it’s also an example of the system working. These people were caught. They’re going to be tried. This is the way the system is supposed to work.”
Trump said that while he doesn’t trust mail-in ballots, he does trust absentee ballots because he thinks they are more secure. But this has not been the case in Paterson. In 2016, there was another voter fraud scandal in the city involving absentee ballots.
 


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