A Democrat operative and former Atlantic Metropolis council president was arrested final Thursday, February 1st, after being the alleged mastermind of a mail-in poll fraud operation within the New Jersey metropolis. The alleged particular person, Craig Callaway, was working on the time for the Jeff Van Drew re-election marketing campaign. The previous Democrat-turned-Republican in 2020 denied any information of the operation.
From the New Jersey Monitor:
U.S. Attorneys accused Callaway and different unnamed subordinates of paying Atlantic Metropolis residents between $30 and $50 to behave as licensed messengers and request mail-in ballots for voters whom that they had by no means met. Prosecutors allege that these ballots had been later solid with out the precise voters’ information.
The costs seem to stem from work Callaway did for Rep. Jeff Van Drew’s 2022 reelection marketing campaign. There’s no indication Van Drew (R-02) knew concerning the alleged scheme.
Rep. Van Drew reportedly paid Callaway’s consulting agency $65,500 for “strategic consulting”. Just below one-third of that charge, or $25,000, was paid in October simply earlier than the 2022 election. Van Drew had beforehand paid Callaway’s agency $110,000 in his 2020 re-election marketing campaign as nicely.
Callaway is dealing with as much as 5 years in jail and a $250,000 if convicted on the cost of “procuring, casting, and tabulating fraudulent ballots”. However this wasn’t the primary time the previous Atlantic Metropolis council president confronted felony expenses. He’s been convicted twice earlier than on corruption-related expenses. In line with the New York Times and reported by the New Jersey Monitor:
The costs aren’t the primary Callaway has confronted. In 2006, he admitted accepting $36,000 in bribes from a contractor he helped to acquire metropolis contracts. In 2008, he admitted guilt in a separate blackmail scheme focusing on an Atlantic Metropolis councilman whereas serving the sentence of his bribery conviction.
In 2017, Assemblyman Don Guardian, then town’s mayor, accused Callaway of a comparable poll harvesting scheme to spice up Frank Gilliam, who gained the election however resigned in late 2019 after pleading responsible to wire fraud over the theft of $86,000 from a youth basketball group he ran.
“It’s no secret that candidates from each events have employed Callaway prior to now to assist them win elections. Those that employed him can’t plead ignorance now. Everybody in Atlantic County is aware of precisely what Callaway’s operation is and the blatant illegality of all of it,” stated Atlantic County Democratic Chairman Michael Suleiman.
Rep. Van Drew, who gained New Jersey’s 2nd District in 2022 by 19 share factors, denied any information of the scheme and referenced an settlement he had signed with Callaway’s group to stop the sort of exercise.
In line with The Press of Atlantic City, Callaway is “often known as an knowledgeable at getting out the mail-in-ballot vote.”
In 2018, New Jersey handed an enlargement of their “motor voter” regulation, which robotically registers people who receive a drivers license. The enlargement allowed state companies to register voters as nicely. These embody the Workplace of Incapacity Companies, the Parole Board (upon completion of sentence), the Division of Medical Help and Well being Companies, and past.
Automated voter registration legal guidelines, handed in a minimum of 11 states and Washington DC, create an nearly limitless supply of voters for dangerous actors to govern in the way in which Callaway is alleged to have. Particularly when dangerous actors receive entry to voter roll updates in real-time beneath the guise of stopping Get Out The Vote messaging as soon as a voter casts a poll.
Within the 2020 election, the Michigan Heart for Election Legislation and Administration (MCELA), a non-profit based by Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and the recipient of $12.04 million in “Zuckerbucks” from David Becker’s CEIR in 2020, gained exactly this type of access.
The President of the MCELA, Jen McKernan, advised Michigan radio host Tracy Samilton, “when you vote, all these teams urging you to get to the polls will probably be knowledgeable by elections officers that you simply’ve finished it, and the messages will stop.”
With this real-time entry to updates, a foul actor would know who voted, however extra importantly, who didn’t vote.
Individuals who didn’t vote in an election not often, if ever, verify with their elections workplaces to make sure they didn’t vote. For instance, this woman from Illinois, who was shocked to seek out out she’d voted in quite a few elections, regardless of claiming Trump’s 2020 election was her first time voting: