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The discovery of hundreds of ballots stuffed in a mailbox has prompted a do-over election.

New local election ordered in N.J. after evidence of fraud

A city council election in New Jersey's third biggest city was so tainted that it requires a do-over, a state judge has decided.

More than 3,000 ballots, or nearly 20 percent of all votes cast in Paterson's entirely vote-by-mail municipal election in May, were thrown out after evidence of tampering. Judge Ernest Caposela said Wednesday that means the contest "was not the fair, free and full expression of the intent of the voters" and must to be held anew in November

President Trump, who has repeatedly claimed without evidence that mail-in elections guarantee election rigging, has seized on the Paterson case — by far the most credible example of cheating this year — to sow further distrust in the way more people than ever will vote this year because of the pandemic. But election officials say that, on the contrary, the case actually shows how rare fraud is and how effectively the system catches the few perpetrators.

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Gov. Phil Murphy says plenty of ballot drop boxes, like this one in Hoboken, will be an alternative to relying on the Postal Service.

Trump team sues to stop New Jersey from joining list of vote-by-mail states

The Trump campaign has sued to stop New Jersey from carrying out its new system for maintaining electoral democracy during the pandemic: sending all registered voters a mail-in ballot but also allowing them to easily vote in person instead.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday night, just four days after Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy announced the plan.

It's the second time the campaign and the Republican Party have gone to federal court to fight a state's plans for switching to a mostly vote-by-mail election this year — which the president claims without evidence will guarantee widespread fraud aimed at rigging the contest against him. They sued Nevada two weeks ago.

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Gov. Phil Murphy decided every New Jersey voters will be sent a mail-in ballot for November.

New Jersey, Kentucky expand mail-in voting; Indiana does not

New Jersey and Kentucky have joined the growing list of places where voting by mail is going to become much more widespread this fall. Indiana, not so much — at least not yet.

As the country continues to adjust to conducting a presidential election during a pandemic, more and more states are taking a range of routes to make it easier to cast a ballot. Only a few have gone the other way.

Solidly blue New Jersey has decided to proactively deliver ballots to all registered votes, a practice President Trump alleges without evidence will lead to widespread fraud. Reliably red Kentucky has made a narrower decision to allow fear of Covid-19 to count as an excuse for requesting an absentee ballot.

Here are the details:

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Democrats would be assured of dominating Trenton for another term if the referendum is OKd.

New Jersey will vote on keeping gerrymandered map for two extra years

Voters will decide in November whether the next redrawing of New Jersey's legislative districts may be postponed for two years.

It will be one of the more unusual referendums addressing partisan gerrymandering — and yet another wrinkle in the running of democracy wrought by the coronavirus.

Democrats who control the Legislature say keeping current districts in place until 2023 is the fairest thing to do if population reports from the Census Bureau are delayed, which looks likely because of the complications of counting heads in a pandemic. That's a subterfuge for holding on to their seats for an extra term, Republicans complain, while good-government groups say the postponement would deny growing minority populations more influence in Trenton.

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