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Ex-Atlantic City councilman admits to voter fraud

  • Crime Courts

A former Atlantic City councilman face federal prison time after admitting to falsifying voter registrations.

MD Hossain Morshed, 50, who served the city's Fourth Ward, pleaded guilty in Camden federal court to an information charging him with fraudulent procurement and submission of voter registration applications.

“This defendant admitted that he attempted to deprive residents of New Jersey of a fair election by obtaining false voter registration applications and facilitating their submission," U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger said. "Working with our law enforcement partners, we were able to uncover Morshed’s efforts to garner votes from residents who were not allowed to vote for him. We are committed to investigating and prosecuting those who unlawfully attempt to compromise the integrity of our elections.”

Morshed, who some have alleged does not live in the city, dealt with at least four potential voters during the 2019 council race who gave different accounts of their interactions than he did, according to the complaint. One's vote was not counted after the Board of Elections rejected it.

But it's an unnamed voter from Galloway Township who is in recorded conversations in which Morshed advised him on how to deal with the questions that came during an investigation last year.

"You can make your registration any place but you have to pick the one place," Morshed told the man, according to the complaint.

"Anywhere," he said. "Alaska, Siberia, uh Margate, Longport, Atlantic City, Absecon, any places."

The city's Democratic Party endorsed Morshed to continue in his Fourth Ward seat not long before he was charged last March. 

“When you sign up to serve in public office, you are, and should be, held to a higher standard, said FBI Newark Special Agent in Charge James Dennehy. "Morshed admits he knowingly committed voter fraud, and then directed others to lie about it. Our voting processes and electoral functions are the bedrock of our democracy, and even a single elected official breaking to law in the hopes of returning to power creates cracks in the foundation. We must do all we can as law enforcement to protect our fundamental structure.”

Morshed was released shortly after his arrest on $100,000 unsecured bond. The conditions included that he have no contact with Craig or David Callaway, BreakingAC previously reported.

There was no indication as to why the brothers were named. They declined comment at the time, telling BreakingAC they had not heard about the stipulation.

Craig Callaway was arrested last month for his role in allegedly procuring, casting and tabulating fraudulent mail-in ballots during the 2022 general election.

It was not clear if there was a connection with Morshed. Documents connected Morshed's plea do not mention either of the Callaways.

There is no current date for Callaway's next court appearance.


Morshed is scheduled for sentencing July 16.

author

Lynda Cohen

Lynda Cohen founded BreakingAC after working as a local newspaper reporter for more than two decades. She is an NJPA award-winner and was a Stories of Atlantic City fellow.

Wednesday, May 29, 2024
STEWARTVILLE
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