Mail-in ballots are safe? NJ Democrats indicted for election fraud-related charges in mail-in ballot schemes

a person is casting a vote into a box by Element5 Digital is licensed under Unsplash
TRENTON, NJ - Have no worries, America. Mail-in ballots give us the “most secure elections in American history.” At least, that’s what they told us.

Just the News reported that more New Jersey Democrats are facing election fraud charges stemming from the 2020 and 2021 elections in the Garden State. The charges are related to mail-in ballots and voter registrations. 

Just this past week, a Connecticut judge ordered a new Democratic primary in the always-corrupt city of Bridgeport, where Democrat operatives tied to convicted felon Mayor Joseph Ganim (D) were seen stuffing ballot boxes in Ganim’s favor, the CT Mirror reported

In New Jersey, Attorney General Matthew Platkin’s office announced prosecutions involving elections in two separate cities, with one case going on for over three years. 

According to Platkin’s office, Paterson City Council President Alex Mendez, a Democrat, is facing additional charges relative to a 2020 election fraud case after he was previously charged in January and February 2021. 

The 2020 election, where Mendez was running for city council, saw him collect numerous mail-in ballots from households over several days, a violation of New Jersey law, the AG’s office said. The law permits so-called “bearers” to return ballots for voters. However, candidates themselves are not allowed to do so for voters in the district of the race they are running in. 

Platkin’s office said the Mendez campaign allegedly collected unsealed ballots from voters and examined them at campaign headquarters to see if they were cast for Mendez. Those that were not were reportedly destroyed and replaced with ballots for him. It is alleged the replacement ballots were stolen from other voters’ mailboxes. 

In addition, an associate of Mendez scoured mailboxes in areas known to be unfriendly to him, the AG’s office said. Moreover, if voters turned in incomplete ballots, Mendez staffers would complete them. 

One week before the May 2020 election, Mendez allegedly saw someone emptying a large bag filled with ballots into a mailbox in the neighboring municipality of Haledon. Just the News reported Platkin’s office as alleging. About a week later, Mendez’s campaign attorney sent a letter to the Passaic County Board of Elections, urging them to count the ballots from Haldeon despite knowing they had been illegally obtained and submitted to the county. 

Following the February 2021 indictment of Mendez, he and others agreed to contact witnesses who were against them and convince them to provide new statements to assist him in his defense. 

Mendez is facing a slurry of charges, including conspiracy to commit election fraud, a second-degree crime, fraud in casting mail-in votes, unauthorized possession of ballots, tampering with public records, forgery, soliciting or procuring or assisting unlawful registration, and other violations of election law, conspiracy to commit witness tampering, all third-degree crimes, and falsifying or tampering with records and conspiracy/tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, both fourth-degree crimes. 

Just the News contacted Mendez for comment; he did not respond. However, on Wednesday, Mendez issued a statement, saying: 

“This is unfair. They rushed to charge me four years ago, and when they know those charges weren’t working and were going nowhere, they charge me with something else.” 

“I’m looking forward to my day in court,” he continued. “I’m fighting this to the end.” 

Thomas Eicher, executive director of Platkin’s Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA), said in a statement Wednesday: 

‘We allege that Mendez and his associates unlawfully collected ballots and tampered with ballots to give him an unfair edge in the race for the 3rd Ward seat on the Paterson City Council. He then allegedly set about undermining our investigation into his and his campaign workers’ unlawful activities.” 

Also, on Wednesday, charges were levied against another Democratic candidate in New Jersey. 

The AG’s office announced Dr. Henrilynn Ibezim, a candidate for Plainfield mayor in 2021, has also been charged in an election scheme, accused of directing associates to fill out blank voter registration applications and bringing nearly 1,000 to a post office. 

Ibezim “has been charged with election fraud and other crimes after allegedly bringing a trash bag stuffed with” 954 fake “voter registration applications to the post office to mail them to the Union County’s Commissioner of Registration,” the AG’s office said. 

Although Ibezim’s campaign failed, he allegedly provided campaign volunteers and associates with “one or more forms with voter information on them” that they could then use to fill out blank voter registration applications, Platkin’s office said. He also allegedly arrived at a post office “on May 18, 2021, carrying a large white garbage bag” containing voter registration applications,” the AG’s office added. 

It is also alleged that Ibezim lied to detectives from the OPIA’s Corruption Bureau, claiming other people had sold him fake voter application forms, Platkin’s office said. 

Three other candidates defeated Platkin in the June 2021 mayoral primary. He had previously run for mayor of Plainfield in 2017. 

He is charged with election fraud, a second-degree crime; criminal attempt to commit false registration or transfer; tampering with public records, forgery, and hindering apprehension or prosecution, all third-degree crimes; and falsifying or tampering with records, a fourth-degree crime. 

Eicher, speaking of Ibezim, said he “allegedly resorted to fraud in an alleged attempt to unfairly prevail in this election. This desperate attempt to artificially and illegally inflate support for his candidacy was designed to not only cheat his political opponents out of a victory but also to cheat the people of Plainfield out of their right to choose their elected officials.” 

Ibezim refused to comment to Just the News

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