Press release from Somerset County Democrats:
Aug. 31, 2020
Today Donald Trump sunk to a new low in his attacks on United States democracy and voting, turning his sights on the local elections office and the bipartisan staff who ensures fair and accurate ballot counts.
“It’s not the post office,” Trump said. “No, it’s the elections office. The post office — look, this is a con job. It’s like the Russian hoax.”
“The problem is when they dump all these [ballots] in front of a few people who are counting them, and they’re going to count them wrong,” the president said in the interview, without offering evidence. “The post office is not to blame.”
“I know the people who work in the Board of Elections and the Clerk’s Office who manage our elections in Somerset County, and I can guarantee that every one of them – Democrat and Republican – is committed to making sure every valid vote is counted,” said Somerset County Freeholder Director Shanel Robinson. “I lost in my first run for Freeholder, but you didn’t see me insulting good people just because things didn’t go my way.”
Somerset County’s Board of Elections is overseen by a four-member committee made up of two Republicans and two Democrats who work together to hire the Administrator and manage the vote count. Every ballot is counted within the public’s view, and candidates are able to challenge the count and the validity of any ballot.
“The Board of Elections is made up of half Democrats and half Republicans, so Trump is insulting his own party members who have done nothing more than work for fair elections,” said Doug Singleterry, North Plainfield Councilman, and candidate for Freeholder. “I find it stunning that the Somerset County Republicans are so beholden to President Trump at the top of their ticket that they can’t even defend their own against him.”
“This is not a partisan issue, or at least it shouldn’t be. But the only people you hear defending our bipartisan election staff are Democrats,” said Paul Drake, former Hillsborough Township Committee member and Democratic candidate for Freeholder. “The silence from Republicans in Somerset County, and in particular their candidates, is deafening even when their own supporters are attacked by President Trump.”
“Normally at this stage of the election we’d be calling on Brian Gallagher and Brian Levine to grow a backbone and stand up to President Trump’s latest outrage, but they and the rest of the Somerset County Republicans have proven over the past four years that they won’t,” said Peg Schaffer, Somerset County Democratic Chair. “If they don’t have the courage to defend their own in 2020, they don’t deserve to serve the public in 2021.”
This press release was produced by Somerset County Democrats. The views expressed here are the author’s own.
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