A group of residents wants to make it so that voters must show photo identification before casting a ballot in the November election.
A group is also working to ensure that deceased residents are taken off of the voting rolls.
“We’re asking the question: ‘Is voter fraud really true?’” Rosalie Sabatino said at a meeting the group held Monday at the . Sabatino is the group’s organizer. “It is something that you hear about and then you start seeing things and hearing things and then you start asking yourself the question ‘can something like this really happen?’”
The two dozen residents have been checking the names in published obituaries and other sources against voting records with the state and county to ensure that no one in Passaic County who shouldn’t be allowed to vote will cast a ballot on Nov. 6.
“We just want to make sure that the rolls are accurate,” said Al Frech Jr., one of the individuals spearheading the grassroots effort.
The group has created a petition it will mail to Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, the Secretary of State, to move legislation that would require someone to submit valid, government-issued photo identification in order to vote. A bill in the state Senate, number S-200, calls for such a requirement to be put in place. The legislation was referred to the Senate’s State Government, Wagering, Tourism, and Historic Preservation Committee. An identical bill exists in the state’s General Assembly.
The group also wants there to be a standard by which voters are removed from the voting rolls when they either move or die.
Rosalie Sabatino organized the group and is coordinating the fact-checking efforts. She said the group has already discovered 483 deceased Passaic County residents on the voting rolls for the upcoming election. The group still hasn’t searched through Paterson, West Milford, and North Haledon records yet.
A resident must provide a driver’s license number, the last four digits of his or her social security number, or some other form of valid identification, such as bank statement or a utility bill, in order to register to vote by mail. Identification is not required if registering in person. (Click here for more information about voting guidelines and requirements for residents.)
The state Division of Elections (DOE) controls who is registered to vote and who isn't.
A representative from the DOE could not be reached for comment.
More than 3.6 million New Jerseyans voted in the 2008 general election, a nearly 2 percent drop from the 2004 election.
About 131 million people in the United States voted in 2008, also a 2 percent drop from the nearly 126 million who went to the polls in 2004.
Approximately 40,000 Passaic County residents voted in the primary election in June. This is about 15 percent of the more than 280,000 registered voters living in the county.
There are no local candidates running for municipal office this year. However, six individuals, including two incumbents, .
For more information about the group or to request a petition to sign, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.