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The guy who's supposed to ensure that we have clean elections turns out to be just another crooked politician. Who woulda thunk it? Carmine Casciano, 63, of West Caldwell is the Essex County Superintendent of Elections. He's in charge of voter registration, absentee ballots, and ensuring the smooth operation of the electoral process.
Mr. Casciano is a smooth operator alright. He's charged with second-degree official misconduct for giving unauthorized paid days off to the employees of his office so they could work on political campaigns and then telling them to destroy or alter their time logs so nobody would find out.
Penny ante stuff really. He forged time records so some folks could get extra paid days off. And for that he faces up to 10 years in state prison and a six figure fine.
But here's a deeper question. Why are employees of the office which is tasked with ensuring a smooth electoral process allowed to volunteer for political campaigns? Isn't that an enormous conflict of interest? They can hardly be even-handed in their official duties if they are actively working on behalf of a particular candidate or political party!
Essex County elections have an interesting and somewhat dubious distinction. At the start of each election cycle lots are drawn to see which party is listed on the coveted Line A of the ballot. And every single time since I was knee-high to a grasshopper (ie, decades and decades of elections) Line A has been "randomly" awarded to the Democratic Party.
The fact the Mr. Casciano and pretty much every other employee of the county is a Democrat is merely a happy coincidence. The fact that county employees routinely volunteer for Democratic Party election campaigns has no bearing whatsoever on their ability to fairly administer the electoral process, right?
That's the real scandal here. The people charged with ensuring a fair election
have a vested interest in the outcome. They're actively working for the
Democratic Party, and now we find out they're doing it on the taxpayer's dime
too. The potential for fraud is monumental. But sadly it's just The Way
Things Are in New Jersey politics. ACORN must be so proud.
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