It looks like Assemblyman Ronald Dancer is going “Chicago style!”

He’s introduced legislation that says people who cast mail-in ballots but die before polls close on Election Day should have their votes count – as opposed to the way it’s done now -  those ballots would be thrown out.

In other words, your vote counts even if you’re dead.

Sounds like the ploy that supposedly got President John F Kennedy elected.

"whenever the county board receives evidence that a mail-in voter who has marked and forwarded a mail-in ballot has died before the opening of the polls on the day of the election, the ballot shall be rejected by the board (of elections)."

…which seems to make sense, as the deceased will not have been around to see the results (or non-result) of the vote that was cast - despite their having had the right to vote when they were alive.

The inspiration for this bill was for it to only apply to active duty military members – as he has a son-in-law who’s done tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Here’s what’s interesting. According to an article from USA Today, this came about because of the results of the 2000 Presidential election – and how the difference of a few votes can swing an election.

This also takes into account the difference between in-person voting and mail in votes.

For instance, in Florida, if a person casts an early ballot, then is run over by a truck right outside the polling place, there's no way to rescind the vote. But the vote of a Florida soldier who mails an absentee ballot from Iraq, then is killed in action, won't — or shouldn't — be counted.

Both have had the same right to vote, but why should one dead person’s vote count while the other’s doesn’t?

Here in New Jersey, we allow voters to cast mail in ballots early for whatever reason, but the votes don’t get counted until Election Night.

It would be possible to allow for an “early voting system” whereby a person’s vote would count when received instead of waiting till the election. That would take more legislative action – and one has to wonder if the legislature should be taking up valuable time in deciding whether or not the votes of dead people should count.

Should someone who cast a mail-in ballot but died before polls closed have their vote counted or thrown out?

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