A former Democrat Atlantic City councilor has been arrested for allegedly overseeing the abuse of New Jersey absentee ballot laws.
Craig Callaway, 64, consulted for politicians in need of his ability to sway close elections via his “organizational efforts.’
Callaway was arrested last week on charges of election fraud relating to the abuse of absentee ballots.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for New Jersey said the former city counselor will answer for “one count of depriving, defrauding, and attempting to deprive and defraud the residents of the state of New Jersey of a fair and impartially conducted election process by the fraudulent procurement, casting, and tabulation of ballots.”
U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger said:
“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.”
“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.
“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.”
Authorities caught Callaway after paying organizers between $30 and $50 to act as intermediaries assisting voters with completing their absentee ballot applications.
The individuals would fill out forms attesting they had each voter’s permission to cast a vote.
They were then given blank absentee ballots before turning them over to Callaway and his deputies.
Voters affected by Callaway’s scheme told investigators they did not vote in the 2022 election, adding that they never authorized Callaway or anyone else to help them cast a vote.
Callaway now faces a $250,000 fine and up to five years in prison.
The Inquirer reported:
Callaway was released on $50,000 unsecured bond after making his initial appearance Thursday afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Matthew J. Skahill in federal court in Camden, said Matthew Reilly, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Callaway first was hired by Van Drew in 2018 when the congressman was a Democrat.
In 2020, Callaway first worked for Democrat Amy Kennedy in the 2d District congressional primary, then was hired by Van Drew in the general election, where he defeated Kennedy. Van Drew paid him $135,000 in 2020 alone. He also was hired by Van Drew in his 2022 reelection.
He has already served 40 months in prison for accepting bribes while serving as Atlantic City councilor.
While waiting on his trial, Callaway orchestrated a prostitution bribery scheme against a fellow city councilor.
Callaway hired prostitutes in 2006 to entice fellow Councilman Eugene Robinson to join them in a motel room filled with hidden cameras.
However, Robinson, a Baptist minister, informed authorities of the setup after Allaway threatened to release a video of the sex acts.
Last year, an incoming Democratic city councilor in Lawrence, Massachusetts, was charged with raiding voters’ mailboxes for blank mail-in ballots.
According to Trending Politics, The investigation into Fidelina Santiago was led by another Democrat, Secretary of State William Galvin, who said an investigation would be completed before she could be seated on the council in January 2024.
“We’re on it. The minute we heard about it today we took action. We’ve had a history of sending people to jail when they commit crimes. That’s what we’ll do here,” he said.