Allow me to preface my letter today by stating that I completely support the people’s right to select or elect whomever they choose to represent them. It is a democracy which we all much uphold, protect and fight for.
To that end, I am writing this letter to express my sincere concern with the way the recent May 12th vote-by-mail election was handled. Particularly, in Ward 3. When the vote-by-mail ballots of hundreds of registered voters are just cast to the side, there should be cause for concern and it should be more than disconcerting to the voters.
How can anyone tell such notable voters like Assemblyman Benjie Wimberley, Raheem Smallwood, Kemper McDowell and hundreds of others, that their votes weren't counted in the recent all vote-by-mail race? Even more importantly, that their ballots were cast aside due to a “signature” issue?
Lest we forget that the USPS office of the Inspector General was stationed outside the main post office on Ward street almost immediately following the recent election. And to add to that, the state AG’s office is involved and just recently, it was reported that a huge bag of mail was found near a garbage can.
While no confirmation of the contents has been made available, we need to take into account that the recent pandemic played a huge roll in the improper handling of the mail, which had an adverse effect on the timeline for vote-by-mail ballots to be sent out and or returned to be tallied in a timely fashion.
Recently, the incumbent, Councilman William “Bill” McKoy, filed a 38-page complaint, formally challenging the election results. That complaint, in my opinion, provided some very incriminating information. So much so, that it warrants some looking into. I’m not here to cast aspersions. However, for years the City of Paterson has played host to countless questionable election practices which can be verified and are easily discoverable in public court filings and charges.
This isn’t the first time we made the paper due to issues of potential voter fraud and I’m almost certain it won’t be the last. I think we all should closely watch the upcoming primary election. Let’s see how that turns out. We must take the issue of voter disenfranchisement seriously!
I hope that we can get to the bottom of what took place this year and correct it immediately.
Don’t allow the ballots (votes) of registered voters to be cast aside like yesterday’s paper.
Corey L. Teague
Corey L. Teague is a member of the Paterson Board of Education.