Two ballots for the July 7 Democratic primary, both signed by former Atlantic City Council President Craig Callaway, are now the subject of an investigation for possible ballot tampering, the New Jersey Globe has learned.
The Atlantic County Board of Elections noticed identical ballots for two different voters both had Callaway’s signature. If true, that means Callaway was in possession of a ballot that did not belong to him.
Both ballots were delivered to the Board of Elections by the U.S. Postal Service and carried Callaway’s signature on the outer envelope.
The board referred both ballots to the Superintendent of Elections, who has investigative power under state law.
If the superintendent suspects voter fraud, the matter would be referred to the Atlantic County prosecutor.
Callaway is no stranger to ballot controversies and has been accused in the past of harvesting ballots.
In 2015, State Sen. James Whelan (D-Atlantic City) got a law passed that limited the number of ballots a voter can serve as a bearer for to three. Whelan pushed the initiative to combat his belief that Callaway was running a ballot tampering operation.
Earlier this year, federal prosecutors received an affidavit signed by Ernestor Echevarria alleging that the Callaway operation has been tampering with ballots for fifteen years.
“I personally witnessed them take a closed envelope and nail file, heat up the sealed portion of the envelope and reopen the envelope carefully by melting the glue and separating the seal,” Echevarria said.
Echevarria claims that Callaway would visit a voters home, ask them to sign an envelope, and pretend to reseal the envelope.
Among her allegations is that Callaway had someone inside the Board of Elections to help him by providing blank ballots so that he could cast them for the candidate of his choice.
Democratic congressional candidate Brigid Callahan Harrison has made Callaway an issue in her campaign.
“Our campaign has been ringing the alarm bell on Craig Callaway and his corrupt ballot harvesting operation for months. This is exactly what we’ve said countless times would occur in this election,” said Paul Weborg, Harrison’ s campaign manager. “We renew our call for a federal election monitor to stop these abuses of our electoral system, and we demand that Amy Kennedy finally disclose the financial arrangement she has with Craig Callaway to influence ballots across the district. ”