Wednesday, January 6, 2021
“We don’t know who’s going to win, but we certainly know who’s going to lose – the taxpayers,” exclaimed Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson in response to the ruling for a special election to fill the District 3 County Commissioner seat.
The election of Democrat Thelma Witherspoon was revoked on January 4 by Superior Court Judge Joseph Marczyk who found 328 voters were disenfranchised because they received incorrect ballots. The margin of victory for Witherspoon over her opponent Republican Andrew Parker was 286 votes.
“The Democratic County Clerk blames the Democratic-run state government for providing bad data while the state says the Clerk should have done a thorough check of ballots rather than only a spot check,” said Levinson. “There’s a lot of finger pointing but no one stepping up to accept responsibility.”
“This mistake could cost county taxpayers as much as $100,000, and that estimate comes from Atlantic County Democratic Chairman Michael Suleiman.”
Levinson contends that since the State of New Jersey has oversight of the 21 county clerks and the Clerk has oversight of the ballots, the county taxpayers should not have to cover the cost of the special election.
“Atlantic County voters exercised their right and did as they were instructed. Through no fault of their own, the District 3 election was flawed,” Levinson stated. “You may disagree about whether this was an error of the state or the County Clerk, but other than those two parties, does anyone believe the burden should fall on the county taxpayers? They are the true victims in this unfortunate situation.”