Atlantic County Republican Chairman Keith Davis today released the following statement concerning Atlantic County Clerk Ed McGettigan?s decision to permit Derek Brown to remain on the ballot as a freeholder candidate, even though he voted in St. Petersburg, Florida just last November and doesn?t own a home in New Jersey.
?The manner in which Ed McGettigan conducted this election proceeding is quite simply outrageous,? Davis said. ?First, he ?blacked out? signatures on petitions we requested to examine without any basis in the Open Public Records Act, then he conducted a hearing on the candidate?s petitions by telephone. For someone who is responsible for handling public records and elections matters, McGettigan demonstrated he has no knowledge of the law.
?The fact that McGettigan chose one of the busiest weeks in the Clerk?s Office to take a vacation and attempted to handle a hearing on a candidates? residency by telephone from parts unknown is unacceptable and Atlantic County deserves more,? said Davis. ?He wasn?t present to determine the candidate?s credibility as a witness or to review any of the exhibits presented.
?While McGettigan failed to see them, the facts were clear: freeholder candidate Derek Brown testified under oath that he was a resident of New Jersey since early 2006. But he admitted that he voted in the presidential election in St. Petersburg, Florida just last November and records showing his voting history in Pinellas County, Florida were presented. You can?t say you live in New Jersey and vote in Florida. McGettigan failed to recognize that obvious conclusion.
?Even though Brown filed his petition with one address but just registered to vote at another address two weeks ago and has never voted in an election in Atlantic County, McGettigan incredibly decided via telephone that he should be permitted to remain as a candidate.
?If the roles were reversed and this was a Democrat challenging the slate endorsed by McGettigan?s party at its convention, you can be sure the result would have been much, much different.?