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Atlantic County District 3 Freeholder candidates Thelma Witherspoon and Andrew Parker.

GOP will seek new election in Atlantic district where clerk mailed wrong ballots

Democratic freeholder candidate holds a 286-vote lead; 554 voters were disenfranchised by McGettigan

By David Wildstein, November 17 2020 11:12 am

Atlantic County Republicans will seek a new freeholder election after a seismic ballot printing mistake by County Clerk Ed McGettigan.

McGettigan forgot to include the District 3 freeholder race on ballots for 554 Hamilton Township voters in a race where Democrat Thelma Witherspoon is ahead by 286 votes against Republican Andrew Parker.

“Thanks to County Clerk Ed McGettigan, I think we will be headed to a special election,” Atlantic County GOP Chairman Keith Davis told the New Jersey Globe.  “We have a strong case for a special election.

McGettigan, a Democrat up for re-election next year, could be on the hook for the cost of the new election.

“The county clerk should pay personally,” Davis said.  “Everyone should have confidence in how elections are run.  Unfortunately, because of his mistake, we have to do a new election.”

The results of the election could change after ballot cure letters are returned by Wednesday’s deadline.  With 820 cure letters outstanding countywide, it’s unlikely there are enough in District 3 to overtake Witherspoon’s’ lead.

Witherspoon and Parker were facing off for the seat of Freeholder Ashley Bennett, who instead unsuccessfully sought Democratic Party support to run against Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis) in the 2nd district.

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