A seismic failure by Atlantic County Clerk Edward McGettigan to mail the correct ballot to some voters in a close race for freeholder has caused GOP County Chairman Keith Davis to demand his resignation.
McGettigan sent the wrong ballots to 554 Hamilton Township voters in the Third District race, denying them the opportunity to vote in a contest between Democrat Thelma Witherspoon and Republican Andrew Parker. Hamilton is split between two freeholder districts.
Witherspoon leads Parker by just 179 votes in an election that still has a large but still undetermined number of uncounted votes.
This election could wind up in court, potentially triggering a new election to fill the seat being vacated by outgoing freeholder Ashley Bennett.
“McGettigan is a serial offender when it comes to botching our elections. But this one is the absolute worst” said Davis.
Davis pointed to a statement by Superior Court Judge Julio Mendez, who called it “a horrendous situation.”
“It does not reflect well on the Clerk of Atlantic County,” the judge said. “Ultimately the buck has to stop somewhere.”
Davis chastised McGettigan for not “even have the guts to show up to the hearing and offer an apology,” when the matter was heard before Mendez.
While Davis has gone public, some key Democrats privately told the New Jersey Globe that they think it might be time for McGettigan to go.