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New Jersey attorney general charges local politicians in mail-in voter fraud case

A city councilman, a councilman-elect and two others have been charged

Updated: June 26, 2020 - 12:44pm

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Four New Jersey residents have been charged in a recent mail-in voter fraud case, with state's attorney general accusing them of multiple crimes including voting fraud, tampering with public records and unauthorized possession of multiple vote-by-mail ballots. 

Fraud allegations have plagued the recent Patterson City Council special election in New Jersey, with three losing candidates last month demanding a recount after thousands of ballots were voided in the largely mail-in race. 

New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced Thursday that four people, one of them a Paterson city councilman and another a councilman-elect, have been charged with committing fraud during that election. 

Grewal said the state would "not allow a small number of criminals to undermine the public’s confidence in our democratic process."

Paterson 1st Ward Councilman Michael Jackson, along with 3rd Ward Councilman-elect Alex Mendez, were charged with two other individuals in the case. The charges ranged from the unauthorized possession of ballots to election fraud to falsifying or tampering with records to tampering with public records. 

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy in March placed numerous restrictions on voting in the state due to the coronavirus, largely shifting much of the state's electoral activity for the time being to mail-in balloting.