Neuhaus: 'Perception of unfairness' in poll inspector move

Posted By on September 10, 2014

County exec chides Board of Elections for revoking rule

Published: 2:00 AM - 09/09/14 Last updated: 4:45 PM - 09/09/14

Stepping into the Kiryas Joel election controversy, County Executive Steve Neuhaus said Monday that voters had lost faith in the county Board of Elections after it decided to revoke certification for some poll inspectors who were to be stationed in the Hasidic village during Tuesday's primary voting.

The Board of Elections initially agreed Aug. 22 to allow inspectors from outside Kiryas Joel at the request of Monroe residents and the citizens group United Monroe, which has been feuding with the Hasidic village over its plans to annex 507 acres of town land. But Commissioner of Elections Susan Bahren revoked her decision Friday, citing "cultural issues and historical reasons," according to Emily Convers, chairwoman of United Monroe.

"Though it doesn't affect the status or activities of certified poll watchers, the latest action by BOE leadership in promulgating its election inspector rule, only to reverse it, creates a perception of unfairness," Neuhaus said in a statement. "I will continue to urge the Orange County Board of Elections to develop clear, timely and public protocols, implement them consistently and fairly, and avoid post hoc changes."

His statement came as United Monroe members held a "Cut Corruption" rally at noon outside the county government offices in Goshen.

"We now have more than a dozen trained election inspectors who were essentially fired by the Board of Elections on Friday," said Convers.

United Monroe sought outside election inspectors in Kiryas Joel after reports of irregularities in recent elections. After the Board of Elections recision Friday, the group said it was asking the state attorney general and the Department of Justice to guarantee free and fair elections.

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Neuhaus: 'Perception of unfairness' in poll inspector move

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