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DOJ Arrests New Jersey Democrat For Mail-In Ballot Fraud

A team of people was paid to cast ballots in the names of individuals who told authorities they did not vote

DOJ Arrests New Jersey Democrat For Mail-In Ballot Fraud

A former city official in New Jersey has been arrested and charged in connection with an alleged mail-in ballot fraud scheme leading up to the 2022 election.

Federal authorities arrested and charged Craig Callaway, a 64-year-old Democrat and former Atlantic City Council president, accusing him of running an illegal operation that offered to pay numerous individuals to act as messengers for voters who supposedly wanted to vote by mail.

After receiving vote-by-mail applications from Callaway or his team, the messengers took multiple applications to the Atlantic County clerk’s office and presented proof of the requester’s identification, along with the signed application.

If approved, the messengers were handed mail-in ballots for the voters listed on the applications.

Under New Jersey law, any messenger is required to deliver a mail-in ballot they received directly to the voter who requested it. However, these messengers handed the ballots to Callaway or his subordinates.

Many of the mail-in ballots his team collected were cast in the names of people who confirmed to authorities that they neither voted in the 2022 election (in-person or by mail), nor authorized anyone else to cast a ballot on their behalf.

“Holding free and fair elections is a bedrock principle of our democracy. As alleged in the complaint, the defendant attempted to deprive New Jersey residents of a fair election by fraudulently procuring and casting ballots. Today’s charges reflect our office’s commitment to hold to account those who try to undermine the electoral process,” U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger said in a statement about the arrest.

Michael Suleiman, the Atlantic County Democratic chairman, says he will push for changes in state law to ban payments to individuals who act as ballot messengers and bearers. He will also seek to mandate prepaid postage on all mail-in ballots so voters do not need third parties to return their ballots.

“Voter fraud at any level chips away at the faith people have in our system,” FBI – Newark Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy said in a statement about the arrest. “We’re unable as American citizens to hold our government accountable if our votes are compromised. The FBI and our law enforcement partners understand the gravity of protecting the process and will bring those criminals who break the law to justice.”

Callaway faces a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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