TAMPA, Fla. — Voter fraud is “rampant” and “commonplace” in parts of New Jersey where greater vigilance is needed to safeguard the ballot, according to key figures in the state’s delegation attending the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.
Even so, they said it is unlikely that the state will pass a voter identification law similar to what is now operative in neighboring Pennsylvania and in other parts of the country.
New Jersey Republican Rep. Chris Smith singled out Mercer County as an area where there is a strong potential for voter fraud to occur.
When he first ran for Congress in 1978, Smith lost to incumbent Democrat Frank Thompson, but prevailed in a 1980 re-match, the same year Ronald Reagan was elected president. Smith identified Mercer County as an area where there was, and probably still is, a strong potential for voter fraud.
“We need a clean democracy with clean elections and more vigilance to protect the ballots,” he said. “The people who commit fraud should be held accountable. We had 2,000 ineligible voters on the rolls in 1980, and I don’t think the situation has improved since that time.”
Smith recalls that Thompson’s campaign went to court to keep voting machines open in Trenton, where the campaign claimed people had trouble getting to the polls as a result of bad weather.
“They were just trolling for votes to see how much [was] needed to win,” Smith said. “I noticed they didn’t try to keep the machines open in Hamilton.”
Maria Bua, the former GOP chair in Mercer County, said that voter fraud is “far more rampant” and “commonplace” than people realize.
“It’s certainly a problem in Mercer County,” she said. “A voter ID law would be helpful, but I’m not sure it’s something we’ll ever see.”
Bua, who is also a delegate to the RNC, expressed concern that it was far too easy for college students to become registered as voters, while they maintain a residence in another part of the country. She also said there was a problem with individuals using business addresses to become registered.
Republican state Sen. Gerald Cardinale is also keen on the concept of having some form of voter identification, but doubts that it could become law anytime soon.
“Voter fraud is real and rampant in certain parts of New Jersey such as Southern Hudson County,” Cardinale told The Daily Caller. “A voter identification law would make sense, but the Democrats here would never let it happen. That’s unfortunate because people in both parties are the victims of voter fraud and we should hold high standards to ensure ballot integrity.”
Although he is not familiar with the specific allegations, Cardinale said the voter fraud scandal embroiling Rhode Island over the past few days shows that both parties have good reason to be concerned.
“You have one Democrat making allegations about another Democrat,” he noted. “This should not be a partisan issue, we should work together to root out fraud.”
Rhode Island is the only state with a Democratic legislature to pass a new photo voter ID requirement in response to voter fraud allegations since 2011. The move puts the Ocean State in company with Alabama, Kansas, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.