A judge ordered a do-over election held in November for a city council seat in Paterson, New Jersey, due to the apparent winner and a sitting councilman being charged with voter fraud.
State Superior Court Judge Ernest Caposela issued the ruling on Wednesday, according to the Associated Press (AP).
“It was the right ruling. That past election was fraught with fraud,” Mayor Andre Sayegh remarked, according to CNN.
“The City will comply with the judge’s decision and we created the Mayor’s Election Awareness Team to preserve the value of the vote in Paterson,” he noted.
The AP article continued:
Alex Mendez had won a special election on May 12 to fill the seat, but claims of voter fraud were soon raised. An investigation was then launched after the U.S. Postal Service’s law enforcement arm told the state attorney general’s office about hundreds of mail-in ballots located in a mailbox in Paterson, along with more found in nearby Haledon.
In June, Breitbart News reported that election fraud charges were announced against Paterson City Councilman Michael Jackson (D), Councilman-elect Alex Mendez (D), Shelim Khalique, and Abu Razyen:
Mendez, 45-years-old, has been charged with second-degree election fraud, third-degree fraud in casting mail-in votes, third-degree unauthorized possession of ballots, third-degree false registration or transfer, third-degree tampering with public records, and fourth-degree falsifying or tampering with records.
Following the announcement, President Trump cited the case as an example of what could happen with mail-in voting:
Absentee Ballots are fine. A person has to go through a process to get and use them. Mail-In Voting, on the other hand, will lead to the most corrupt Election is USA history. Bad things happen with Mail-Ins. Just look at Special Election in Patterson, N.J. 19% of Ballots a FRAUD!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 29, 2020
Trump’s reelection campaign, the Republican National Committee (RNC), and the New Jersey Republican Party filed suit Tuesday to “invalidate Governor Phil Murphy’s Executive Order 177” regarding a universal vote-by-mail system.
The press release stated:
This unconstitutional order violates New Jerseyans’ 14th Amendment right to vote, as well as the Elections Clause and the Electors Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The unlawful power grab by New Jersey Democrats has demonstrably opened the state’s election system up to fraud and will lead to the disenfranchisement of New Jersey voters. In defense of free and fair elections, the Trump Campaign cannot allow for Democrat party bosses to undermine the integrity of our democracy.
Paterson’s do-over election is set to take place on November 3rd, according to the CNN report.