BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Almost four months after the primary elections, the Pino for Sheriff Campaign is working with the United States Postal Inspectors Service in regard to an election fraud investigation surrounding stolen Vote by Mail Ballots from Bridgewater residents, according to a release from the campaign.
According to the release, following the sheriff primary election, candidate Tim Pino’s campaign was tipped off that a Vote by Mail Ballot had been found on a radiator inside the Somerset County Board of Elections Office one week after the primary election. The campaign, the release said, did an Open Public Records Act Request for the mail-in ballot, which came back as a vote for Pino for the Republican nomination for sheriff.
The board of elections, the release said, reported that the radiator ballot vote was not counted.
From there, the release said, the campaign did another OPRA request to see how many residents had requested Vote by Mail ballots and who had returned them. They found, the release said, that 2,994 people requested the ballots, but only 1,028 returned them.
Strategists with the campaign, the release said, reported that because there was a highly contested mayoral race in Bridgewater, the percentage of return on those ballots should have been about 25 to 30 percent higher than what was reported to be received.
The release said the campaign did a post-election survey targeting the Bridgewater residents who the Somerset County Board of Elections claimed never returned the ballots. A large amount reported that their ballots were mailed back, the release said, but they weren’t logged as being received or rejected by the Somerset County Board of Elections.
The United States Postal Inspectors Office is now conducting an official investigation into the missing mail-in ballots, the release said.
“Having the opportunity to review this evidence provided by all of these residents, it raises serious red flags,” Joseph P. Lamont, Jr., the former 1st Undersheriff of Somerset County, said in the release.
The attorney general's office is already investigating missing voting machines from the election in the Bradley Gardens section of Bridgewater.
"Our Bridgewater constituents were denied their right to vote at the polls on Election Day because of mysteriously missing voting machines, and now we have learned that the residents of Bridgewater have had their mail-in ballots severely compromised,” Pino said in the release. "I want to be 100 percent clear that I am not blaming any specific person for this, that's up to the federal law enforcement authorities to investigate and prosecute those responsible. My hometown constituents of Bridgewater just want these stolen mail-in ballots recovered, and their votes to be counted. I then look forward to being the Republican nominee for Sheriff.”