The state’s Office of the Attorney General suggests a state lawmaker overstated the number of voters who inadvertently sent both their special election and November ballots to their local polling places Wednesday.
The AG’s office issued a statement this afternoon indicating they were made aware of “only a few instances” of where voters casting a mail-in ballot during the special Senate election this week inadvertently also included their November ballot in the same envelope.
The statement comes after Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, speaking as Democratic gubernatorial nominee Sen. Barbara Buono’s campaign chairman, told reporters “a couple of thousands” of voters inadvertently mailed both ballots to their polling place.
Coleman referred to the instances as evidence that Gov. Chris Christie’s timeline for the special election effectively prompted voter confusion and disenfranchisement.
“The Attorney General’s Office provided advice to the Mercer County Board of Elections relative to what we were advised were only a few instances in which voters sent mail-in ballots for both the November general election and Wednesday’s special Senate election in the same return envelope,” the AG’s office said in a statement.
“Based on information received from other counties, we are aware of only a few additional occurrences statewide,” the statement continued.
The AG also dismissed Coleman’s statement earlier today in which she said clerks were being told to discard the November ballots if they were inadvertently mailed along with the Senate ballot.
“Contrary to some published reports, there was no advice given to discard November mail-in ballots included in the same envelope,” said the AG’s office. “The advice given was to count the October special election ballots, and to secure and set aside the November general election ballots. The status of this small number of November ballots is under review.”