With tomorrow as the date when messenger applications for absentee ballots can be obtained, Joe McDevitt, Republican candidate for Freeholder at large, today reminded voters that his opponent twice failed to support board resolutions to more strictly regulate the process and stamp out the fraud and corruption which has marked the system for years.
?On two occasions, my opponent, Joe Kelly had an opportunity to stand up for honest, fair and fraud free elections and he failed both times,? McDevitt said.
Kelly abstained on a Freeholder board resolution in May of 2006 to formally ask the Attorney General, the County Prosecutor, and the Superintendent of Elections to investigate the allegations of fraud in the absentee ballot process in the county and particularly in Atlantic City and Pleasantville.
He was absent ?– vacationing in Myrtle Beach — from the Freeholder meeting later that month when a resolution was adopted asking the Legislature to limit to four the number of messenger applications any one individual could obtain, thus greatly reducing the potential for fraudulent use of the ballots.
?Despite convincing evidence that the system had been abused and manipulated to alter the outcome of elections, my opponent refused to vote in support of investigating and regulating the process,? McDevitt said.
The Republican further pointed out that County Clerk
Ed McGettigan, the official responsible for accepting the applications and distributing the ballots, ?is in a clear conflict of interest and has refused to respond to a call for him to recuse himself from the electoral process because of it.?
?The Clerk has been a close political ally of the group headed by convicted felon Craig Callaway, the organization largely responsible for subverting the messenger application process, and his ability to act in an objective and fair way is compromised because of it,? McDevitt said. ?Moreover, his brother the Sheriff is a candidate for County Executive and the Clerk should not be in any position to influence or determine the outcome of an election.?
?Both McGettigans owe a political debt to the Callaway group,? he said. ?The voters and taxpayers of Atlantic County should not suffer a dishonest electoral process so the brothers McGettigan can repay that debt.?