A man who claims residency in Paterson and has voted in the 2nd Ward election is registered to vote in both New Jersey and Maryland, according to government officials in both states.
Khairul Islam, whose mail-in vote cast last year in the 2nd Ward has been questioned in court, has testified his primary residence is at 44 Paterson Avenue. His testimony in court suggested he has always lived in Paterson and often visited Maryland for business.
For example, the court was provided picture of an old mailbox outside of the Paterson Avenue house as proof of his residency at the property. Islam told the court the mailbox has been there with names of his family members since his boyhood.
Mary Wagner, director of voter registration and petition division at the Maryland State Board of Elections, confirmed Islam is registered to vote in Maryland. It’s not clear whether he has recently voted in elections in Maryland.
Wagner would not provide voter history for Islam. When told whether Maryland is aware Islam has been voting in local elections in New Jersey, Wagner said she refer the matter to the Office of State Prosecution for investigation.
Islam did not respond to a message seeking his input for this story.
Passaic County superintendent of elections Sherine El-Abd said Islam is registered to vote in Paterson. She said he voted from the Paterson Avenue address in the recent general election. The man who won the November election to become president of the United States has decried voter fraud calling for an investigation into voters who are registered in multiple states.
People who move out of one state to another are sometimes registered in two states. It’s not illegal to be registered in two states, but it is to vote in both places.
El-Abd said when she learns a voter is registered elsewhere her office flags them and contacts them to get them to complete a domicile questionnaire.
“It’s not easy to take somebody off. There are so many rules and regulations that you have to comply with,” said El-Abd. She said some states cooperate with each other to address the issue of a voter being registered in multiple states while others do not.
There’s no system in place to alert officials when someone is registered in two places, she said. She said she wishes there was such a system. “People need to get together, throw party lines in the garbage, and see what works best for the common good,” she said.
When he was questioned in court in the 2nd Ward election fraud trial, Islam told the court his driver’s license is from Maryland and his vehicles are registered there.
“Generally, you need to insure your car in the state where you do your driving and garage your vehicle. If you lie to your insurance company and say that all your car action is in another state, in a lower premium, even though all your highway time is spent in your home state, where you actually live and where your garage is, you are likely committing insurance fraud,” said Jim Quiggle, director of communications for the Washington D.C.-based Coalition Against Insurance Fraud.
“Why do you have a Maryland license?” asked New Jersey deputy attorney general Alan Stephens to Islam in early January.
“The insurance over there is really cheap,” responded Islam. His brother Mohammed N. Islam also had a similar narrative. N. Islam’s name could not be checked with Maryland election officials due to the commonness of his name.
The brother said he lives in Paterson, but has driver’s license and car insurance happens to be from Maryland. He also said his wife and children live in Maryland and that is visits them frequently.
The two brothers said they own the Islam Brothers Slaughterhouse on East Railway Avenue and Medina Halal Meat on Lehigh Avenue in Paterson. Both businesses are operating allegedly illegally.
The city did not have certificate of occupancy for either of the two businesses, according a written response from the city. The city did provide a health department license for the Getty Avenue business.