A Superior Court Judge has ruled in favor of U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, ensuring that more than 2,000 absentee ballots that were challenged today by Pascrell’s opponent in the 9th District Congressional primary will be counted Tuesday.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Steve Rothman had challenged the ballots, saying he was given no chance to review them.
Judge Ernest Caposella ruled the ballots, which had been impounded, should be released.
Rothman’s team will have the opportunity Tuesday morning to review the ballots.
Pascrell Campaign Manager Justin Myers said, “Since deciding to pack up his home and flee the fight against the Tea Party in favor of initiating a primary against a Democrat, Steve Rothman has proven time and again he will say and do anything for two more years in Congress.
“This frivolous legal action at taxpayer expense is the cherry on top of Steve Rothman’s entire campaign strategy and tonight’s court decision to prevent the Rothman campaign’s efforts to suppress the vote in Paterson represents another huge victory.
“Since December, Steve Rothman’s false, negative campaign has been thwarted at every turn by independent verifiers letting the public know he is not telling the truth. To this point, he has ignored the newspapers, ignored the editorials, and ignored the public, choosing instead to throw more money behind new televised lies.
“Unfortunately for Steve Rothman, he will not be able to ignore the judge, and he will not be able to ignore the voters on Tuesday.”
The Rothman Campaign countered that the Pascrell Campaign’s charges of racism and voter suppression are “flatly false and are offensive.”
“Superintendent De Mers is not a racist,” said Rothman Senior Advisor Paul Swibinski. “He is an objective and honest election officer who made his order based on his desire to ‘simply allow more time for examination of the outside of the mail-in ballots prior to their being opened by the Board of Elections’.
Superintendent De Mers issued his order so that “both campaigns will have the amount of time reasonably necessary to examine the mail-in ballots, under supervision of the Office of the Board of Elections, and pursuant to the normal requirements of the Board of Elections. The Superintendent’s action does not suppress any votes and, in fact, thousands of voters will go to the polls tomorrow to exercise their right to vote.
“The Superintendent is simply assuring that all Absentee Ballots are counted openly and fairly in accordance with the law. Based on over 650 letters to newly registered voters in Paterson being returned by the U.S. Post Office as undeliverable, we are concerned about the potential for massive voter fraud in the City of Paterson.
“The Rothman Campaign wants a fair and transparent campaign, and we wonder why the Pascrell Campaign does not want the same,” Swibinski added.