So the pertinent information:
- Jose L. Mercado, 20, of South Broad Street in Penns Grove, has been indicted on five counts of forgery, according to court records.
- In the Penns Grove June Primary, there were 519 absentee ballots requested which officials have stated is an unusually high number for a municipality the size of Penns Grove. Out of those, Jose Mercado was the bearer for 233 of them with 209 of those ballots being counted.
- In October, Superior Court Judge William Forester ruled in a non-jury trial that the results of the disputed primary election would stand despite what he said was multiple instances of fraud. Forester ruled that there were not enough challenged votes to alter the outcome of the election.
- Mercado is the third person to be indicted in connection with the investigation into the alleged fraud.
Many the supporter of Vote-By Mail schemes continue to argue that postal voting is safe, secure, less exspensive, and overall good for Democracy. But in just a few months of running this blog, there have been numerous cases and news articles, both in my home State, and Nationally, that continue to contradict these claims. From Mayors of small towns who have confessed to dealing themselves winning elections using absentee ballots, to voter intimidation and coercion, to today’s account of another indictment, it would seem that the case is clear, vote by mail is less safe, less secure, more costly, and bad for Democracy.
The only thing vote by mail schemes really has going for it, is that it seems convenient. And a lot of people are far too willing to sacrafice the sanctity and security of the vote on that altar, for convenience is a very important aspect in Democracy. Who am I to say that things like accuracy and honesty matter more in an election system?
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