After the well-publicized case of election fraud in Fairfield Twp last year, the County Board of Elections seems to be at least paying lip service to ensure that our elections are fair. They are asking for ballot scanners for mail-in ballots. This is a step in the right direction – it will reduce the possibility of error inherent in the hand-counting of mail-in ballots.
Administrator Lizbeth Hernandez said Monday morning that her department aims to acquire a new mail-in ballot scanner, to be used in the coming November election.
“The fact that there’s an increase of so many mail-in ballots, the board decided to use this machine,” Hernandez said when asked what brought this about.
The scanner would replace the hand-count method of sorting through absentee ballots at a cost of around $50,000. Hernandez said the “one machine processing ballots” would be an “upgrade to what we currently have.”
However, this is not a cure-all. It is not a fix, and it cannot stop the sort of nefarious under-handed business that occurred with the Fairfield Twp election. If you remember the reports, the candidates names were “accidentally” switched so that each got the others’ votes. To ensure that the state would be able to accurately investigate this incident, the Board of Elections then helpfully had critical files on the sole computer used for the election erased, much to the ire of the judge.
Fact – until the State of New Jersey MANDATES that all election machines provide a PAPER RECORD, fraud such as this WILL continue. We still do not know how many districts in Cumberland County have had machines tampered with in a similar manner in larger elections, and there is NO WAY of finding out. The voters DESERVE to have the people they selected put into office. It is not fair when corrupt political parties tamper with elections to ensure that their own candidates win.
It is time to clear house at the County Board of Elections – and to replace EVERY INDIVIDUAL that has been on that board with new blood, with people that will swear to uphold the sanctity of the electoral process.