It’s not clear when embattled Middlesex County Clerk Nancy Pinkin hatched her plan to simply cancel today’s ballot draw – maybe it was during a seven-hour flight from Dublin early this morning — and the only certainty is that she is artlessly avoiding questions about the unusual occurrence.
Now Rik Mehta, a Republican candidate for Congress in New Jersey’s 6th district is calling for her resignation.
“Election integrity starts with following law,” said Mehta. “How can we be assured that we’ll nave fair elections going forward.”
Pinkin decided today that she didn’t need a ballot draw at all, making her the only county clerk in the state to not hold one.
Without a draw, the Middlesex County Democratic and Republican organization will have the top ballot position, even though Piscataway Democrat and Mehta filed their own slate of county commissioner candidates.
“This unfairly impacts challengers,” Mehta stated.
Citing county policy, Pinkin deftly referred all inquiries to Middlesex’s public information officer.
“In accordance with Title 19 and within the discretion of the County Clerk, the fully bracketed slate of county-wide candidates will be placed in the first position, with the partially-slated candidates placed in the second position,” said Kimberly Burnett, a spokesperson for Middlesex County. “Any additional non-bracketed candidates will be placed in the third position.”
In Mercer County, where two Republican congressional candidates ran with county commissioner candidates and a third ran alone, the deputy county clerk held a ballot drawing that was consistent with the rest of the state.
Pinkin curiously took the week before the ballot draw off after she joined some of her former State Assembly colleagues on a junket to Ireland.
Mehta said he was weighing his options, and Piscataway Democrats indicated that they were prepared to fight in court.
“She should resign,” Mehta told the New Jersey Globe. “Do your job, Nancy.”
Joey Fox contributed to this story.