Saturday, September 27, 2014

Petitioners want non-KJ residents allowed as elections inspectors in village 

The people who have filed a lawsuit against the Orange County Board of Elections for its decision not to allow non-Kiryas Joel village residents from serving as elections inspectors are willing to drop the legal action if they are allowed to serve on Election Day.

Two of those petitioners, Andrew Buck and Emily Convers were joined by their attorney Michael Sussman on Thursday to discuss the lawsuit which was prompted by the board of elections’ initial approval of out-of-village inspectors for primary day and then a reversal of the decision.

County Executive Steven Neuhaus has said he does not appoint elections commissioners so their decision is out of his hands. But, the petitioners maintain the county law department told the board to change its position on the grounds that there is a language barrier. Buck put the blame on the about face on the county executive.

“The inspectors who the county executive has conveniently thrown under the bus are not being held to a level of accountability,” Buck said.

Sussman said Neuhaus could fix the problem.

“This is Mr. Neuhaus dancing around. If Mr. Neuhaus tomorrow said, ‘In Orange County we are going to have election inspectors of all groups in Kiryas Joel, I am urging the board of elections to do that’, it would be done,” Sussman said.

The attorney said the argument that non-Hasidics do not know the language and therefore cannot communicate with residents is not a valid argument. There are other inspectors assigned to those polls that do know the language just like in predominantly Spanish speaking districts, there are Spanish speaking inspectors assigned.

Convers charged that she was allowed to be a poll inspector in KJ, but that decision was reversed, charged it was politically motivated because she is not Hasidic.


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