UPDATE: Asbury Park Sun is reporting that the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office executed a search warrant on the campaign office of ‘The A Team” this afternoon. The report said that the investigators appeared to be looking for ballots. Read the APS report here.
MoreMonmouthMusings has confirmed that the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office is investigating the “A-Team” ticket of Council candidates in upcoming Asbury Park municipal election. That investigation included a visit to the campaign’s Main Street office today.
No arrests have been made.
The ‘A-Team’ consists of five candidates running together for the five council seats, the entire governing body, being contested in the May 14 election. The candidates are former Councilman James Keady, former board of education member Redmond Palmer, Duanne Small, Nora Hyland and Daniel Harris. There are a total of 22 candidates running for the five seats.
The Asbury Park Sun (APS) reported last week that Monmouth County Clerk M. Claire French noticed an unusual increase in the amount of messenger ballots being requested in the Asbury Park election. Messenger ballots are issued when a voter designates a third party to pick up a ballot from the Clerk of Elections and return the completed ballot to the Board of Elections. Its like Vote My Mail ballots with a private messenger instead of the post office. French instituted a policy requiring that messengers sign affidavits certifying that they have met the voters they are assisting; they are related to the voters or are themselves registered voters in Monmouth County; they will not act as messenger for more than 10 voters; they will deliver the ballots directly to the voters and not to any other individuals; and they are not candidates in the election. Messenger ballot applications have ground to a halt since the affidavit requirement was instituted. French told APS that the prosecutor’s office would follow up on ballots issued for which no affidavits were returned.
Additionally, APS reported this week that a Political Action Committee affiliated with the ‘A-Team’ raised and spent $7000 on behalf on the campaign without disclosing the source of the funds to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission. The PAC, Citizen for Change, filed the first quarterly report with ELEC on April 15 with “information to follow” listed where the donor’s identity is required.
MMM has received multiple reports of voter registration confirmations and ballot receipts being sent to fictitious addresses in Asbury Park. These reports have not been specifically tracked to the ‘A-Team.’