Voter fraud is real, reader says

Dear Editor,

I read where critics foolishly dismiss the possibility of ballot fraud as claimed by President Trump and NJ governor Christie, et al. As a resident of NJ, I can attest that here in this state there is a good possibility.

Especially in areas found to be controlled by political bosses, their political machines, and their minions. The purpose is of course to maintain power and control of towns and counties to self-enrich themselves, their friends, relatives, political bosses, donors and the legions of soldiers and operatives that bow to them. NJ is considered one of the most corrupt states in the Nation and had a book and documentary made of our government system called, “The Soprano State”.

One major claim of alleged ballot fraud appeared in a local primary election of 2006, in Roselle, a boro within Union County, NJ and controlled by a political boss machine. As an example, one such boss is our Senator Lesniak, where in a Star Ledger article from September 13, 2000, declared that he is the self-proclaimed power broker of our area influencing all contracts, appointments and hiring. But an example of organizations bringing integrity into NJ is NJappleseed, a public interest law center dedicated in part to integrity in the election process. On their site they had an anecdote on one such election fraud and how they helped justice prevail over a compromised ballot procedure.

The following is from their site:
“Christine Dansereau was seen as the ‘outsider’ candidate in the Union County Democratic Party’s 2006 primary for Roselle’s 5th Ward council seat. On election night, she emerged victorious – until the absentee ballots were counted. An astonishing 54 absentee ballots edged her opponent Rosemarie Bullock to a narrow win. Dansereau challenged the primary election results and, after a six-day trial, the lower court invalidated 31 of Bullock’s 54 absentee ballots due to improper ballot handling by Bullock’s campaign workers. Dansereau was reinstated as victor, and went on to win in the general election. Bullock appealed on the grounds that the court lacked sufficient evidence to invalidate the ballots, and NJ Appleseed stepped in to represent Dansereau and uphold the principle that elections should be free from abuse. The Appellate Division agreed, upholding the lower court’s decision to invalidate the questionable ballots. The case sparked a state criminal investigation into voter fraud.”

Some additional eyebrow-raising information I will add and can easily be found by googling this 2006 Roselle, NJ election fiasco. Dansereau was campaigning against the Union County political machine backed candidate. Roselle has multiple wards, yet all the absentee ballots that were turned in by Roselle councilman Holley were just for that one ward. Holley appears to be a “soldier” heavily involved in the Union County political machine.

The first judge that heard the case, Judge Malone, threw out the case in attempts to marginalize it. Before being appointed a Judge, Malone was the political boss of the largest town in Union County. The case was appealed and relocated by the Dansereau lawyers. A handwriting specialist testified that many of the signatures were very similar. Some voters who supposedly signed the absentee ballots said they never met Councilman Holley and said it was not their signature.

It took three years before councilman Holley’s voter fraud case came to trial, relocated over in Mercer Superior Court. Instead of the sentence of 5 years in jail and $15,000 fine, he was sentenced into pretrial intervention which he remained free but with 1 year of supervision. The judge called him just “young and overzealous”. A few years later, alleged perpetrator Holley was rewarded with the election line by the machine and went on to be a NJ assemblyman. I call all this, “perfecting legalized corruption.”

At least in NJ, one will never know how much ballot fraud occurs, when political machines and bosses own the towns, the elections, possibly some judges and maybe even some prosecutors. In Union County where I live, the county govt is heavily controlled by boss politics and all the towns’ voting machines during the year are stored in one county building they own. It makes this NJ resident suspicious of their access.

Bruce Paterson/Garwood, NJ