A federal judge has issued a decisive ruling to protect voting rights in New Jersey. Earlier this year, the state announced plans to mail every registered voter a ballot for the upcoming general election, giving them the option to send that back in as their vote or cast their vote in-person. The Trump campaign (and Republican allies) promptly sued in an effort to block New Jersey state authorities from fulfilling their plan, which the president’s team alleged would unfairly muddle the election. There’s no evidence for the president’s claims of widespread and systematically-damaging fraud in mail-in voting, and on Sunday, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal revealed an abrupt ruling in favor of the state, allowing their plans to proceed.
Grewal announced on Twitter:
‘A federal judge just issued an order in our case halting the Trump Administration’s efforts to interfere with mail delivery in advance of the election. We WILL have a free and fair election.’
BREAKING: A federal judge just issued an order in our case halting the Trump Administration's efforts to interfere with mail delivery in advance of the election. We WILL have a free and fair election. pic.twitter.com/DdWUqcDYzD
— AG Gurbir Grewal (@NewJerseyOAG) September 27, 2020
Mailing out ballots to all registered voters in a given state in advance of an election is not a new concept. Prior to the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic, which made voting in-person potentially extra precarious, especially for vulnerable populations, five states across the country had systems in place under which elections would be conducted almost entirely via the mail. Mail-in voting has been used at significant levels across the entire country — in 2016, nearly one out of every four voters who participated cast their ballot via the mail. In other words, the processes of “mail-in” and “universal mail-in” voting are not new, and they do not pose any kind of systematic threat to the integrity of the election.
The new ruling against the Trump campaign in New Jersey is not the first recent occasion that the Trump campaign has lost in an effort against mail-in voting. In Pennsylvania, they sued in an effort to stop the usage of ballot drop boxes for absentee ballots, but the state’s highest court recently okayed those boxes’ usage. The plaintiffs in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court case subsequently announced plans to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court over another issue handled in the case, namely, the extension of the deadline to receive mail-in ballots, which is meant to compensate for Postal Service slowdowns.