Attorney General Asked To Investigate Election Irregularities

ELIZABETH — The campaign manager for a group of challengers in the recent primary is demanding action from the state Attorney General’s Office concerning “serious breaches to the integrity of the election process.”

Francisco Gonzalez, a school board member who was campaign manager for the Democrats for Change slate, complained of inappropriate conduct by the Board of Elections, city police and others.

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“The civil rights and voting rights of hundreds of individuals in Elizabeth were obviously trampled upon Tuesday, June 8th. A clear and so far successful effort to dissuade voters was implemented,” wrote Gonzalez. “We are discouraged by your lack of interest.”

In a letter to Attorney General Paula Dow, Gonzalez said he previously wrote “two letters regarding the necessity for monitoring at the election polling places.”

Among the specific issues raised, Gonzalez noted that absentee ballots were counted beginning at 6 a.m. on Election Day. He wrote that while the regular Democratic Organization of Union County was given notice, the challengers were not notified.

Gonzalez also noted a “chilling” police presence at some poling places. “Officers were observed with some frequent in actually escorting voters to the voting booth,” he wrote. “It is clear that an orchestrated effective system to target the minority population for intimidation tactics was utilized.”

Two Elizabeth City Council races were very close victories for the regular political organization. In the Third Ward, Councilman Joe Keenan defeated challenger Armando Da Silva by 24 votes, 1,038-1,014. In the Fifth Ward, Councilman William Gallman achieved victory by a 43-vote margin, beating challengers Lester Dominguez and Eduardo Rodriguez 746 votes to 703 and 109, respectively.

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