PATERSON, NJ - Citing the more than 19 percent of ballots that were rejected, President Donald Trump has declared that the May 12 election held in “Patterson” was a “Fraud.” In the late Sunday tweet Trump misspelled the name of New Jersey’s 3rd largest city, one of the nation’s most historically significant.
A prolific user of the social media platform, Trump’s missive, retweeted more than 26,000 times and “liked” more than 77.5 thousand times, brought national attention to the local elections which have led to calls for recounts, a request for the results of one to be thrown out, and four arrestson charges of voting fraud.
“For nearly two years my Administration has been focusing on working with residents to bring in new investment, reduce crime, create job opportunities… to make ours the model city it was when Alexander Hamilton, a real statesman first christened it,” Mayor Andre Sayegh said when asked about the tweet. “We’ll let the law deal with those that chose to use the election to make a mockery of democracy.”
“And we’ll put our activism to work in support of a Presidential candidate that knows how to spell the name of our great city.”
Directing his own response to Trump, via twitter, was Freeholder John Bartlett who said that "you know about the fraudulent ballots because the system worked. You know because those ballots were caught and not counted."
The tweet, reading partially that “absentee ballots are fine” as “a person has to go through a process to get and use them,” would appear to play into a much larger narrative regarding how November’s General Election might be conducted as the COVID-19 virus continues to spread in many states that Trump one in 2016, including Florida, Arizona, and Texas.
Pointing to elections in Oregon that have been conducted by mail since 2000 "with no evidence to support the narrative that there is widespread fraud," as an indicator that the system can work, Matt Krayton, an Essex County based political consultant offered his opinion that Trump's tweet was "part of a broader effort by President Trump and his allies to make it more difficult for Americans to vote, while also planting seeds of doubt about the integrity of our electoral process."
"The data and the evidence clearly shows that vote-by-mail is an effective and safe way to preserve franchise, particularly during a pandemic."