“This isn’t me. I have no idea who this is.” Manville resident Leeanna Schumacher looks down at the ballot in her hands, which bears her address but not her name.

Somerset County GOP Chairman Tim Howes says, “Leeanna is not alone. We are less than 48 hours from when residents started receiving ballots, and the reports of phantom ballots are already rolling in.

“The New Jersey Division of Elections needs to take immediate action to correct this problem. We will not rest until we are sure that this election process is fair,” he added.

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Howes knows that the country stands on the precipice of one of the most hotly contested and potentially fraudulent elections of its lifetime, and he is prepared to work 24-7 for a fair election for Somerset County.  The SCRO has implemented a tech program that will track mail-in ballots in order that all legal votes will be counted, and phantom ballots will be challenged.

“We will fight for a fair election. We are going to work together with our sibling GOP organizations and campaigns to address the problems created when thousands of ballots are delivered to inactive voters,” said Howes.  “We are going to leverage technology, our legal team, and our vast reserve of talent to ensure an honest election.”  

“Based on reports that our office has received, I believe that thousands of phantom ballots have been issued to inactive voters,” Howes continued.  “This leads to confusion and tends to cast doubt on the election itself.  Worst of all, it could create the opportunity for voter fraud if phantom ballots fall into unscrupulous hands.”

Executive Order 177 provides: “The November General Election shall be conducted primarily via vote-by-mail ballots, which will be sent to all “Active” registered voters without the need for an application to receive a vote-by-mail ballot.”

It appears, however, that the Statewide Voter Registration System has issued and mailed ballots to voters who should be on the inactive list. Democrats comprise 32 percent of inactive voters statewide, compared to only 16 percent of inactive voters from the GOP. 

In the two days after Somerset County voters received their ballots, the SCRO received numerous reports that fit four different profiles:

1.    A ballot was received in the name of a person not related to the current resident who has not lived at the address for many years, such as a prior owner of the home.

2.    A ballot was received in the name of a person related to the current resident who has not lived at the address for many years.

3.    More than one ballot was received for a voter.

4.    A ballot was received for a deceased person.

“If you have received a ballot for someone who never or no longer lives in your home, then please tell us by clicking on the link on the landing page of our website www.somersetcountygop.com."

“The Somerset County Republican Organization is fighting for a fair election under difficult and unprecedented circumstances with the same vigor that it has worked to make Somerset County one of the most desirable places to live in the nation.  We want to hear from you.”

Tim Howes is the chair of the Somerset County Republican Organization, and an election lawyer who has represented clients in all 21 of New Jersey’s counties.  The SCRO supports the campaigns of County Surrogate Frank Bruno and “The Brians” - Freeholders Brian Gallagher and Brian Levine, and the local campaigns of Republicans across Somerset County.

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