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• New Jersey law allows election workers to provide provisional ballots when voting eligibility cannot be confirmed at the polls on Election Day.
• For those who cast provisional ballots, their eligibility is investigated after the election, and if they are eligible to vote, the ballot will be counted.
A viral Instagram post claims a crime was committed when a New Jersey election worker allowed someone who said he was not a U.S. citizen to fill out a ballot. The claim came from Project Veritas, known for its history of undercover reporting using hidden cameras and selectively edited recordings.
The Instagram post was a screenshot of a tweet by Donald Trump Jr., who was sharing the Project Veritas video.
The Instagram post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
It is not illegal for an election worker to provide a ballot when there are questions about voting eligibility. The New Jersey state Division of Elections notes that provisional ballots are intended for voters "whose eligibility to vote cannot be confirmed at the polls on Election Day."
The original 59-second Project Veritas video shows a man having a discussion with an election worker. The man says he is not registered to vote and is an Irish citizen, and a text overlay notes that non-citizens cannot vote or register to vote. But when the poll worker asks, "Do you have some citizenship here?" he answers, "With the work visa, yeah."
The poll worker says she’ll let him complete a ballot, and says, "They’ll figure that out." The video then shows a text overlay that says, "NJS 19:34-20, Poll workers may not provide a ballot to someone not entitled to vote."
That section of the law addresses the actions of people who cast a vote or aid someone with voting, knowing that the person is not eligible to vote.
The poll worker in the video says she is unsure of the man’s eligibility but will provide a ballot so that his eligibility can be assessed later, as the law allows. At one point in the exchange, she tells the man, "Whether or not it’s going to be — they’re going to count it, I don’t know."
That’s in keeping with how provisional ballots work in New Jersey. The Division of Elections reports, "If, after the election, it is determined that the voter who cast the provisional ballot was eligible to vote, the ballot will be counted."
A county clerk in a different New Jersey county told a local radio station that the situation was handled exactly as it should have been.
A viral Instagram post claims a crime was committed when a New Jersey election worker allowed someone who said he was not a U.S. citizen to fill out a ballot.
The poll worker was following New Jersey state law, which allows for provisional ballots when voting eligibility cannot be confirmed at the polls on Election Day.
We rate this claim False.
Instagram post, Nov. 5, 2021
Justia, "2014 New Jersey Revised Statutes, "Title 19 - ELECTIONS, Section 19:34-20 - Soliciting or procuring or assisting unlawful registration and other violations of election law," accessed Nov. 9, 2021
New Jersey 101.5, "Misleading Project Veritas video wrongly claims illegal voting in NJ," Nov. 4, 2021
New Jersey Voter Information Portal, "Frequently asked questions," accessed Nov. 9, 2021
PolitiFact, "Items found in trash outside a New Jersey elections office were not discarded or shredded ballots," Nov. 5, 2021
PolitiFact, "No, Bergen County didn’t find more votes for Phil Murphy after all the ballots were counted," Nov. 5, 2021
PolitiFact, "Website falsely claimed Twitter caught leaking private Trump messages to the Justice Department," June 28, 2018
YouTube video, Nov. 3, 2021
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