Atlantic County Democrats are not taking chances on another foul-up by Republican County Clerk Joseph J. Giralo when it comes to getting mail-in ballots out to residents in a timely fashion.
Giralo had an easy act to follow, after his predecessor, Ed McGettigan, presided over at least six serious mistakes in the administration of local elections but that low bar was apparently too high for the GOP career politician who started at the age of 18.
A lawyer for the Atlantic County Democratic Committee sent a letter to the company in charge of delivering mail-in ballots for the county to let them know that another delay in mail-in ballots being delivered to voters won’t be tolerated.
“The delay in mail-in ballots being delivered last fall was inexcusable,” said Atlantic County Democratic Chairman Michael Suleiman. “Today, we’ve put the county’s mail house on notice that there will be consequences if they don’t do the right thing and deliver ballots in a timely manner to voters.”
Suleiman claimed that when mail-in ballots should have commenced last fall, Giralo and the company failed to deploy them on Saturday, September 24, as required pursuant to state law.
“While the rest of the state was already returning ballots, many Atlantic County residents didn’t get their mail-in ballots until October 3 or 4,” said a press release from the Democrats. “As such, Atlantic County’s ballot return rate was significantly lower than other counties in South Jersey.”
“After a months-long investigation by ACDC, it was discovered that the mail house, Universal Mailings in Piscataway, didn’t deliver the ballots to the USPS until September 29,” the statement said.
“I want to thank our legal team of Elliott Almanza and Colin Bell for their tireless efforts on this matter. I look forward to working with them to make sure everyone’s right to vote in Atlantic County is strongly protected,” said Suleiman.
Earlier this year, the Atlantic County Democratic Committee secured a big voting rights victory when it discovered that Giralo’s office was violating state law and not mailing ballots with first-class postage.
Giralo began preparing for the Nov. 8 general election after taking office in January, but instead of aiming for quality, he focused almost entirely on costs only to discover that the lowest bid is not necessarily the best.
The elections official also sought to perpetuate disgraced former President Donald Trump’s ‘Big Lie’ and undermine confidence in the Vote by Mail system under the guise of ‘saving taxpayer dollars’ while Giralo essentially sabotaged the process.
A months-long investigation discovered that the mail house contracted by the printer to mail the ballots, Universal Mailings in Piscataway, didn’t deliver the ballots to the USPS until September 29.
Also, mail-in ballots were sent at bulk rate prices rather than first-class postage, which is recommended by the United States Postal Service and required under state law.
Giralo defeated Mayor Lisa Jiampetti in the 2021 election for Atlantic County Clerk after the former mayor and councilwoman in Egg Harbor City