TOMS RIVER, NJ – On Wednesday, Governor Phil Murphy, who has been touting the success of the May Paterson election, said he had no idea that 10% of all ballots cast in that election were thrown out by election officials. In the July primary election, as many as 40,000 votes were tossed, according to a lawsuit filed by the Trump administration this week.
“The July primary was plagued with voting problems. To begin, more than 40,000 ballots were rejected. That’s eight times as many rejected ballots as the 2016 primary election. Hudson County alone had over 6,000 rejected ballots this year, more than the entire state for 2016,” President Trump said in a lawsuit filed against Governor Phil Murphy.
Here’s how the exchange went down…
Ian Elliott, NJTV News: I have questions from my colleagues in NJTV. The President’s lawsuit calls Executive Order 177 a, quote, “brazen power grab” and says that the Legislature can change election law and not the Governor, COVID-19 notwithstanding. An op-ed cites an NJ Spotlight report that 10% of ballots cast in the primary were tossed and says that voters could be deprived of the right to vote. Both cite Paterson as evidence of voter fraud in New Jersey. How do you respond to that?
Governor Phil Murphy: Okay, I’ve got nothing more to add on the Trump lawsuit. As I mentioned earlier, the Trump campaign lawsuit, pardon me. I apologize. I’m not sure I understood the NJ Spotlight question. Could you hit that again?
Ian Elliott, NJTV News: Sorry. They said that the Legislature can change the law and not the Governor, and the op-ed states that 10% of ballots cast in the primary were tossed and says that voters could be deprived of the right to vote and they both –
Governor Phil Murphy: Voters could be what, sorry?
Ian Elliott, NJTV News: Deprived of the right to vote. And both cite Paterson as evidence for that.
Governor Phil Murphy: I’m sorry, and what?
Ian Elliott, NJTV News: And both cite Paterson as evidence for voter fraud in New Jersey.
Governor Phil Murphy: Yeah, I don’t know about this 10% wasn’t counted. That’s the first I’ve heard about that. But Patterson, I would just say this as forcefully as I can. Paterson was not part of our primary. Paterson was a local election on May 12th and took place before the primary. To me, overwhelmingly, I think to our teams, overwhelmingly, it is a positive data point. People tried to screw with the system, they got caught, they’ve been indicted, and if they’re convicted, they’ll pay a price. To me, that’s the way — that’s the system working.