In the aftermath of more questionable use of absentee ballots in Atlantic City in yesterday?s primary, Atlantic County Freeholder Candidates Tom Ballistreri and Manny Aponte today called on Senator Jim Whelan and Assemblymen John Amodeo and Vince Polistina to work together to get absentee ballot reforms enacted into law.

?Last year, right before his senate election, Jim Whelan promised to get absentee ballot reforms through the state legislature,? said Ballistreri, who currently serves as the Mayor of Folsom Borough. ?But it was all window-dressing and Whelan accomplished nothing.?

?Yesterday we had another election in Atlantic City and more evidence of absentee ballot fraud,? said Aponte. ?Leaving the Freeholder Board meeting last night, I watched as Callaway?s gang was carrying hundreds of ballots into the Board of Elections, they just kept filing in one after another. The system is broken and must be fixed.?

Ballistreri and Aponte called for the following absentee ballot reforms:

* Prohibit campaign workers from delivering messenger ballots for anyone other than a family member or caregiver

* Audit the county clerk?s office to assure that verification of signatures and registrations is handled with due diligence

* Change the color of absentee ballot forms so they cannot be stockpiled from one election to the next

* Designate an agency to monitor election officials — county clerk, board of elections, and superintendent of elections — as well as the process

?We need these reforms in place now so the integrity of our election process is preserved,? Ballistreri and Aponte said.


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