Citing federal and state constitutional grounds, state Sen. Mike Doherty (R-23) strenuously objected to Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno's directive this afternoon extending a deadline for emailed and faxed ballot applications.
"A violation," the senator declared.
The deadline to count the ballots had been Tuesday at 8 p.m., however swamped county clerks requested relief in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
On the condition that voter applications be completed by 5 p.m. today, Guadagno moved the deadline for emailed and faxed ballots to Friday at 8 p.m., prompting Doherty to cry foul.
Doherty noted the U.S. Constitution's directive to conduct the election on a single day - uniform in all states.
The state constitution reinforces the federal order: "General elections shall be held annually on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November and may be altered by law."
As a legislator, Doherty said he wasn't consulted, which makes Guadagno's order worthless, in his opinion, and unprecedented.
"It's very clear," said Doherty. "The state constitution says Tuesday. If you are going to change it, you have to make a law. That requires legislative action signed by the governor, subject to review by the court. That hasn't happened. I don't see where she has the authority to violate the constitution.
"I still think we're a nation of laws," he added, urging voters to get to the polls today.
"If people don't vote by midnight tonight their vote might not be counted," said Doherty, alert to the likelihood of legal challenges to Guadagno's directive.
A movement conservative, Doherty said it is in precisely times of crisis that citizens must be extra vigilant concerning the Constitution.
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"When you're asked to cast a vote on a bill and it seems innocuous, and it's got a hidden land mine that perhaps only an expert would see, it would sort of behoove those experts to tell us in advance rather than make us look, shall we say, a little bit indecisive later on." - Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll (R-25).- NJTV
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