The state Attorney General’s Office has ruled the Atlantic County Clerk’s Office has proper protocols in place for the upcoming election after the county Republican Committee raised concerns about the integrity and operations of the office.
Last week, the Republican Committee wrote to the Attorney General’s Office seeking an investigation into possible tampering with vote-by-mail ballots after a voter said he received one that was already filled out. The ballot was already filled out with votes cast for Democrats Phil Murphy for governor, Atlantic City Councilman Frank Gilliam for mayor and George Tibbitt for Atlantic City Council.
“After reviewing the concerns raised in your letters and the explanations set forth in Mr. (Deputy County Clerk Michael) Sommers certification and October 10 letter, it appears that the Clerk has in place a procedure designed to ensure the orderly and secure handling of mail-in ballots and applications consistent with the requirements of Title 19,” according to a letter dated Thursday from George N. Cohen, deputy attorney general.
Edward P. McGettigan, county clerk, said he was never worried about a potential investigation into his office.
“The bottom line is that there is no fraud in the Atlantic County Clerk’s Office and no investigation,” McGettigan said.
The state also said there is no issue with Sommers running for a council seat in Linwood and holding his position. The Republican Committee had raised concerns about Sommers, a Democrat, running for elected office in the upcoming election.
“Mr. Sommers states that he is on the ballot for Linwood City Council in the November general election and that he has removed himself from processing any mail-in ballot ‘applications’ or messenger applications involving the City of Linwood,” Cohen wrote.