TRENTON, N.J. - New Jersey’s nearly all-mail primary on Tuesday is emerging as a test of the state’s ability to deliver a drama-free election in the face of critical tweets from President Donald Trump and a GOP seeking federal election monitors.
Tuesday is the deadline for Democratic and Republican voters to postmark their ballots or deliver them to county boards of elections by 8 p.m. in contests for president, the U.S. Senate and the House.
New Jersey previously had no-excuse mail-in voting. But Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy this year mandated the election take place principally by mailed ballots because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
A shift to mail voting is increasing the chances that Americans will not know the winner of November’s presidential race on election night, a scenario that is fueling worries about whether President Donald Trump will use the delay to sow doubts about the results.
State election officials in some key battleground states have recently warned that it may take days to count what they expect will be a surge of ballots sent by mail out of concern for safety amid the pandemic. In an election as close as 2016's, a delayed tally in key states could keep news organizations from calling a winner.
Delayed results are common in a few states where elections are already conducted largely by mail. But a presidential election hasn't been left in limbo since 2000, when ballot irregularities in Florida led to weeks of chaos and court fights.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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