Murphy slams Trump campaign over mail-in ballot lawsuit

Gov. Phil Murphy at a press briefing.

TRENTON — Gov. Phil Murphy on Wednesday blasted President Donald Trump’s campaign after it filed suit against New Jersey on Tuesday, seeking to overturn the governor’s executive order to send every voter a mail-in ballot for the November election as a safety measure amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“The Trump campaign is embarking on a brazen attempt to sow fear and confusion, and to delegitimize our elections and cast doubt on our democratic process  …  instead of working with us to ensure that voters’ rights are upheld, along with public health,” Gov. Murphy said at his press briefing. 

New Jersey residents also may choose to vote in-person at a limited number of polling places on Election Day, Nov. 3.

The Trump campaign, joined by the New Jersey Republican State Committee, filed suit in U.S District Court, claiming Gov. Murphy appropriated power that belongs to the state legislature, accusing him of a “brazen power grab.”

President Trump has repeatedly railed against widespread mail-in voting. 

New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal on Tuesday said the state will sue the U.S. Postal Service over worries the Trump administration is hamstringing the agency with cuts in service ahead of an expected surge in mail-in voting.

“This goes far beyond attempts at weaponizing the USPS to disenfranchise voters,” Gov. Murphy said. “This is now becoming a full-throated propaganda campaign to undermine the election itself.

“Vote-by-mail has been used extensively across the country – including in the five states that almost exclusively use vote-by-mail for every election. Vote-by-mail is not new in New Jersey, and takes on the added importance of protecting both public health and the right to vote during a deadly pandemic that has already taken more than 14,000 lives in our state.”

“Our plans for November will move forward. … If vote-by-mail is good enough for the president, it is good enough for us,” Gov. Murphy said. President Trump this week requested a mail-in ballot for himself from the Palm Beach County election office.

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