An aggressive 11th-hour mail-in ballot application process underway in the 1st District by allies of state Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D-1) has stirred the suspicion of GOP rivals, whose leader wants a state investigation.
Democrats say they’ve simply engulfed the GOP.
In Cumberland County, County Clerk Gloria Noto said her office received 563 applications this past Saturday and immediately rejected 20. On Monday, her office received an additional 464 applications.
And they keep coming.
“A body of them is being questioned,” Noto said.
PolitickerNJ.com subsequently talked to Cumberland County Registrar Mike Kennedy of the county division of elections, whose office received heaps of ballot applications for examination from the clerk’s office.
Kennedy said of the LD 1 applications received, 1,873 have been processed as legitimate.
Staff continues to look at 1,046.
“3,000 is about the average for a district election like this,” said Kennedy. “To give you a comparison, in 2008 with Obama we had applications for over 8,000 mail-in ballot applications.
Cumberland County Democratic Co-Chair Doug Long said the Republicans are simply not well-organized.
“We’ve instituted a massive pre-vote GOTV effort and it’s caught the other side flat-footed,” Long said. “Their only response is ‘they must be cheating.'”
But Cumberland County Republican Chairman Bob Greco said he noticed multiple illegitimate applications when he visited the clerk’s office – and detected disturbing trends in the applications that prompted him to write to Attorney General Paula Dow.
He asserts a charge of fraud.
“I have enclosed copies of those applications for your view,” Greco wrote to Dow. “To date there have been over 1000 applications submitted to the Cumberland County clerk’s office with one name affixed to all as the assistor in the name of Marcus R. Wilson Sr. is found on all 1000+ applications.
“Some of the rejected applications include rejections for reason of the following;
“One application was completed by a 14-year-old minor, and another application was completed with the address of a resident from the city of Newark, New Jersey, another application was completed with his signature or voters claiming forgery of their names and applications submitted by individuals who are currently on parole and or probation of felony convictions. All of these applications including the remaining 1000 +applications again were signed by the assistor, Marcus R. Wilson Sr.
“Marcus R. Wilson Sr. resides at the address of 617 S. New Rd., Pleasantville, NJ 08232 as indicated on all applications. Upon further investigation it has been determined that Mr. Wilson is employed by the candidates Jeff Van Drew, the Cumberland County Democrat Organization, candidate account of Anthony (Tony) Surace, William Whelan and James R. Dunkins. (Copies of elect reports for these candidates are enclosed for your view). Furthermore upon research it was discovered that Mr. Wilson who resides in Atlantic County had previously been involved in vote by mail investigations and in one instance in 2007 ballots were rejected in general elections due to similar activity. Enclosed please find supportive copies of The Press of Atlantic City news articles.
“I bring you these concerns for your consideration for investigation of potential voter fraud and tampering crimes in violation of New Jersey law. I respectfully request your consideration and review of the enclosed documents for this troubling matter.
“As the chairman, of the Cumberland County Regular Republican Organization, I hereby request a formal investigation from your office. If you are in the need of any further information please feel free to contact me.”
Van Drew could not be reached for comment.
Asked if the AG’s Office contacted him, Long said he is in contact with the AG regarding his own allegation that the clerk’s office has delayed the processing of Democratic Party vote by mail applications.
“Two weeks out before an election you’d better have the manpower,” said the Democrat.