U.S. Rep. Steve Rothman’s campaign is challenging over 2,000 absentee ballots cast in Tuesday’s 9th Congressional District primary election.
While Superior Court Judge Ernest Caposella prepared to hear arguments from the Rothman camp, supporters of U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Rothman’s opponent in the bitter primary, stood outside the courthouse in Passaic County chanting “shame on Steve.”
All of the vote-by-mail ballots in question are from the city of Paterson. The ballots in question have been impounded by the Passaic County superintendent of elections, which had at least one Pascrell supporter likening the move to Jim Crow-era politics.
The Rothman camp claims the candidate was not afforded the opportunity to review the absentee ballots, but Assistant Attorney General Donna Kelly told Caposella by phone the charge was “mystifying” because the Rothman camp missed their opportunity to inspect them.
Pascrell counsel Angelo Genova argued that Superintendent Robert J. De Mers Jr. acted capriciously when he impounded the ballots.
Pascrell’s troops wore rain gear as they mobilized on the sidewalk.
“Republican tactics from a desperate candidate,” said Pascrell Campaign Manager Justin Myers.
“Underhanded tactics of disenfranchising voters,” said Ward 3 Councilman Bill McKoy.
A source close to the Rothman campaign told PolitickerNJ.com that they could not adequately review the vote by mail ballots and simply wanted that right.