Gov. Phil Murphy, speaking on FOX News Sunday with Chris Wallace, expressed confidence that New Jersey has the logistics to handle a general election with limited in-person voting, explaining all of the options and measures that are in place for making a vote in a non-traditional way.
Murphy did not, however, have a specific answer for how the state will ensure the ballots sent to voters will get to the person intended.
“We all want to make sure that every vote counts — that every person gets to vote once — we’ve got checks and balances for all of that,” he said.
“This is an iterative reality; we’re learning from prior experiences. We actually had a high degree of success on that very point you’re raising — in terms of tracking people down in the July primary we just had.”
Murphy said the state has a “pretty deep history with vote by mail” — and talked about the options for the electorate in November, including in-person voting.
“Ensuring voter security is completely understandable, I’ve spoken to the president about it,” he said. “We’ve got enough experience to believe between the option to vote by mail, to drop your ballot in secure boxes that we’ll have all around the state, to show up on election day and actually hand your ballot over or failing all that, to actually vote in person.
“It’s a hybrid model. We think, based on our experience — especially from this primary — the system is going to work for us.”
When pressed on vote-by-mail problems in Paterson during an earlier election, Murphy reiterated his belief that the incident is a positive as it proved those who try to manipulate a mail-in vote can be and will be caught.
Murphy said all voting models have potential problems, but this one will help expand voting in the state.
“I’m not suggesting you always bat 1,000, you don’t do that in in-person elections either, there’s always some glitches you’re dealing with, but it was overwhelmingly successful,” he said. “Our hope is to expand democracy and we believe this is the right way to do it.
Other notes from the approximately 11-minute interview:
Virtual Democratic Convention
“The theme ‘United America’ I think says it all,” he said. “We are the big tent party, this a moment in American history where we’ve got to put the ‘us vs. them’ in the rearview mirror and come together in common purpose.”
On Kamala Harris as VP
Murphy, not surprisingly, is a big fan of the selection, saying she is a “fantastic” choice — and that he doesn’t think she is too far left on issues.
“I think when you look at that ticket and this party — in this moment in time in our country — I don’t think we could ask for a better running mate,” he said.
New Jersey reported 329 new positive cases, pushing the overall total to 187,455.
The state also has reported four more confirmed COVID-19 deaths — two in August, one in June and one in May. Left unsaid is why it took so long to confirm them as COVID-19-related. The state now has 14,073 confirmed fatalities — and nearly 2,000 more deaths that are believed to be from COVID-19.
Murphy turns 63
Sunday was the governor’s birthday.