There have already been several stories of the mishandling of mail-in ballots here in New Jersey, whether it was done deliberately or inadvertently. Now, according to an article by Erin Vogt on NJ1015.com 1,875 pieces of mail were found in dumpsters in North Arlington and West Orange on Oct. 2 and 5, according to federal prosecutors.

Nicholas Beauchene of Kearny was charged in U.S. District Court with one count of delay, secretion, or detention of mail, and one count of obstruction of mail. Federal crimes, all.

This mail carrier wasn’t necessarily trying to tamper with ballots. There just happened to be 100 ballots in that sack of mail. It’s possible that mail carriers get rid of mail from time to time, either to make their routes shorter, to cover up for mistakes they may have made along the route, or just simply because they don’t like their jobs. Even though this is a problem and obviously a crime, when it comes to regular mail like junk mail, bills, or the like, one can easily remedy the situation.

Call up the credit card company and say, "Send me another bill. I never received it." Call the bank and stop the check you sent and write out another. But when it comes to ballots, you’re dealing with irreplaceable documents. It’s like sending cash through the mail and then crossing your fingers and hoping that it gets there. This is just another reason that voting by mail is a bad idea at best, and at worst, a purposeful attempt to suppress votes.

In the case of Beauchene, the particular mail carrier charged in this story and these particular votes, the dumping of the mail may not have been about the ballots at all. They could have just been collateral damage. But if this can happen, it can happen again. And again. And the next time, it actually could be a deliberate attempt to influence the election results. So much for the safe and foolproof vote by mail system in New Jersey. Buckle up kids, it’s gonna be a long ride.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi's own.