ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL – Election Day just got a lot sooner in New Jersey, as a judge is allowing election officials to begin counting the mail-in ballots 10 days before Tuesday, Nov. 3. Also, the judge says the state can accept mail-in ballots that don’t have postmarks through Nov. 5 – two days after Election Day. Of course, the Trump camp is apoplectic over this, and anything else that is designed to count as many votes as possible. Trumpers have been challenging New Jersey’s mail-in election at every step, as it fits well in the story line of mass corruption and gross incompetence. Meanwhile, the judge ruled that having an official Election Day should not prevent election officials from counting ballots earlier. They just need to keep the results mum until Nov. 3 so nothing is leaked. So…shush.

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL – And speaking of all that widespread corruption in this election, what’s the deal with those ballot drop boxes? Some are expressing concern that they are havens for rampant, unabated abuse, as apparently they can be stuffed with Biden ballots, while all the Trump voters can be torched and thrown in the closest Dumpster. Or these boxes can be hauled away, set ablaze, sealed shut or many other awful things to suppress Trump’s well-deserved votes. The Record asked if these boxes are safe. Bergen County Clerk John Hogan responded with an emphatic “yes,” saying they are obviously placed in secure locations with cameras, rather than dark Democratic alleys. They are also built solid, in case someone drills holes to shove in more fake Biden ballots. “Everything you heard during the presidential debate from the leader of the free world is not true,” Hogan said. “The boxes are secure and it just makes our job harder when people suggest otherwise.”

NEWARK – Of no particular fault to anyone, it looks like MVC’s customer service in North Jersey is getting crappier. Two offices are now shut down – in Newark and North Bergen – with word that employees have tested positive for COVID-19. Newark’s doors will be shut until Oct. 16; North Bergen’s office is out of commission until Oct. 20. The locations will remain closed until contract tracers clear a sufficient number of employees for the offices to safely reopen. Of interest: the White House – also infested with COVID-19 – remains open with the main super spreader in the Oval Office and there are no contact tracers. Translation: New Jersey’s MVC offices are obviously more important than the White House.

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BRIEFING BREATHER

The original name of Bank of America was Bank of Italy.

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL – Unclear why anyone would want to serve in Congress, the glory and prestige isn’t worth the head dive into this swamp. Rep. Tom Malinowski is taking a crash course, as the rookie tries to win re-election. NJ Spotlight reports he has received six death threats, to date, in his DC office. That occurred after the Republican National Campaign Committee ran ads claiming he argued in defense of sex offenders more than a decade ago, which seems a bit ludicrous. But, hey, if this allegation is said over and over, and over and over, suddenly, to voters, it appears true-like. And if Malinowski ends up re-elected to the 7th Congressional district, he returns to the swamp where he is confronted with the daily need to raise money for his next race and the putrid heap of unsolvable issues now festering on Capitol Hill. May we suggest, instead, a nice barista job? And his coffee cup can even read “Congressman Tom.”

MONTCLAIR – Cuban Pete needs to make a living. But Cuban Pete believes it should be done at risk to his customers. Cuban Pete tells the Record that he has already gotten three violations for ignoring the state’s indoor restaurant rules and says he is willing to go to jail to keep his business afloat. Cuban Pete says he can’t make any money if his dining room only has a 25% capacity limit. Cuban Pete is not socially distancing with his tables and doesn’t seem to care. He says his customers will be fine. Cuban Pete also won’t take care of any of them if they get sick. And Cuban Pete certainly won’t visit you in the hospital, or console your grieving relatives. But Cuban Pete will make sure his business remains open so he can continue to make a living. Are Cuban Pete’s fish tacos really worth it?

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

YOUR SHELF – Yeah, sure, you can calm yourself with a pumpkin spice candle on this Election Day, as you watch both sides declare immediate and unequivocal victory. But if you really want to experience the chaos of the night, may we suggest you purchase the “Election Night” candle. It is from the special “Newsroom Scents” collection, with the classic aroma of “late deadlines, stressed editors, free pizza, lukewarm coffee and democracy,” all from the comfort of your E-Z chair. The candle actually smells like coffee and cream, apparently, and is selling for $20 a pop. Bulk purchases are available – as you prepare for weeks of uncertainty, protests, colorful tweets, lawsuits and everything else that this election promises to bring.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

It was this day in 1996 that Republicans tilted so far to the right that they fell off their chairs, as Fox News hits the airwaves.

WORD OF THE DAY

Pecuniary – [pih-KYOO-nee-air-ee] – adjective

Definition: Consisting of or measured in money

Example: My college student texted some pecuniary concerns when the balance on her Dunkin gift card appeared dangerously low.

WIT OF THE DAY

“If you don’t vote, you don’t count.”

-Nancy Pelosi

TODAY'S TRUMPISM

“Wear your mask in the 'beauty' parlor, Nancy!"

-Donald J. Trump

WEATHER IN A WORD

Windy