TRENTON, NJ – On Friday, Governor Murphy said the National Guard, his state militia, in which he serves as Command-In-Chief has been working in county election offices counting elections ballots. It’s not exactly the image of America we’re all accustomed to, soldiers, under the command of a governor counting important election ballots. Murphy was challenged on this by by Nikita Biryukov, New Jersey Globe.
“The National Guard was there in there, I don’t know what the right word or phrase is. I’ll turn to a guy in a uniform, in their civvies, I think they were in their civilian clothes, right? They were there as literally, for a simple reason,” Murphy said, defending his position on the matter. “We were concerned about whether we’d have the proper capacity of poll workers, so they were there literally as a surge capacity. I’ve no concerns about that.””
“I didn’t hear you say whether or not you had a problem with the imagery of soldiers helping to count votes?” asked Biryukov.
“I just answered it,” Murphy replied.
Murphy also took some time to forecast the November general election.
“Again, based on what we have seen, the hybrid process that was employed in the July 7th primary, for the most part, and I’ll obviously always caveat, there’s always going to be some situation here or there, every one of which we take deadly seriously, for the most part was a successful exercise. I still can’t give you a total turnout number. To me, turnout is a big metric in terms of turnout high, infections low would be good metrics of a successful hybrid process,” Murphy said. “We’ve made no decisions on the fall, on the November 3rd election. I don’t have any reaction specifically to the August 1st date, but I think it’s our collective judgment that the sooner we make that decision, the better, the longer the runway is. And I would say that’s just as much for the vote by mail piece if that’s going to be a part of it, as it is for the in-person piece.”