Murphy ‘very confident’ N.J.’s voting system is secure

Gov. Phil Murphy is thrilled the state has received more than 2.15 million ballots so far — with 11 days still remaining before the Nov. 3 general election.

Murphy also is confident those ballots are legitimate.

Murphy said his administration — starting with Director of Homeland Security Jared Maples — is in constant contact with federal officials regarding voter fraud. He also said he is very confident the state’s process is secure.

“That’s not to say we’re naive to these threats,” he said.

Murphy, speaking Thursday morning on “MSNBC Live with Stephanie Ruhle,” said the election officials are taking these threats very seriously. His confidence in the system, however, comes with the success the state had in its primary voting July 7.

“We’re trying to balance public health concerns with preserving the sacred right to vote at the core of democracy,” he told Ruhle. “Unless you are disabled or have a particular reason to use a machine, overwhelmingly, folks will be using paper ballots either through the mail, or even when they show up to vote in person, it will be provisional paper ballot.

“So, we take this very seriously, but I feel very confident that our system is secure.”

Speaking later in the day, during a virtual COVID-19 briefing, Murphy said the state has not heard a lot of complaints in regard to residents not yet having received their ballots — or residents struggling to obtain one.

“We’re not hearing a whole lot of that,” Murphy said. “I’m not saying it doesn’t exist … the system seems to be overwhelmingly working well.

“I would suggest they pound away at their county clerk level, either call or show up in person if they can do that responsibly.”

The 2.15 million total is approximately 55% of the number of ballots that were cast in the 2016 presidential election. In that election, New Jersey recorded 3.9 million votes.

Murphy hopes to top that total — and made a plea Thursday to residents to vote.

“If you have not returned your ballot … I urge you to do so now and join the millions of your fellow New Jerseyans who have made their voices heard,” Murphy said. “I don’t care who you’re voting for, what party you’re in, just vote. That’s what we need you to do.”