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Voting Day Violations 11/5/13
Editorial

by Jim Gerrish

For much of the morning and into the early afternoon, election violations were occurring at the St. Paul A.M.E. Church on Old Sanford Street, my polling place. I went there to vote earlier in the morning and reported the same two Lester Taylor/Ted Green Campaign Workers that you see in the photographs below, only at that time, I did not have my camera with me. I looked at the man in the brown jacket and he showed me his Lester Taylor/Ted Green Campaign material and offered it to me while I was standing at the entrance to the polling place. I informed him that he should not be standing directly in front of the entrance to the polling place, and he replied that he only had to be 10 feet away from it. He was speaking of the actual door into the building, but in order to get to the door, you have to go down an alley on the side of the church, so the actual entrance to the polling place is on the street- there is no other way to get to the door. At the same time, the woman in the blue jacket was sitting on the front steps of the church's main entrance, but she got up from time to time to hand out the campaign literature she was holding, and the steps were well within the 100 foot distance required by law.

I reported to someone inside the polling place that the campaign workers were violating the NJ Elections Law and were passing out campaign materials within 100 feet of the entrance to the polling place. The election worker inside said they were supposed to be down the street, and while I voted, she went outside, supposedly to tell them to move away from the entrance. When I finished voting and came back outside, the election worker was smoking a cigarette and chatting with the campaign workers who were still at the entrance to the polling place, still passing out campaign literature for Lester Taylor, one of the candidates for Mayor, and Ted Green, one of the candidates for council.

I went home and reported the violations to the office of the Essex County Clerk, Chris Durkin, and the person from his office with whom I spoke with assured me that something would be done about it.

I had lunch and decided to go back to see if the violation had been taken care of. This time I brought my camera. Right away I could see the same two campaign workers directly in front of the entrance to the polling place, still passing out Lester Taylor/Ted Green campaign materials.

When I walked down to the entrance, another campaign worker was putting campaign literature on cars that were parked in front of the polling place.

I went inside the entrance to the polling place and turned around to take this photo:

This was the man in the brown jacket that had been passing out Lester Taylor/Ted Green campaign material held in his right hand at his side. He is waving his finger as he threatens me for reporting him and taking his photo.

I moved down to the polling place door and turned around again. This time I saw the worker at the entrance to the polling place glaring at me and still shouting threats. The man in the white sweater I would meet again inside the polling place.

I went inside the polling place and found an elder of the church sitting at the door. I reported to him that the campaign workers were still at the entrance to the polling place handing out campaign literature. At that time, the man in the white sweater that I had photographed in the entrance way to the polling place approached me and told me I had no business being inside the polling place with a camera, even though I took no photos inside. He identified himself as Alonzo (I could not understand his last name, which began with an "R") and showed me a badge identifying himself as a Newark policeman. I asked him what a Newark policeman was doing inside an East Orange polling place, but he had no answer.

He said he would call the East Orange police to evict me, and I invited him to call the East Orange police, but of course, he did not. I left.

When I left, the two campaign workers were still directly in front of the entrance to the polling place, and the Newark policeman was there with them. The man in the brown jacket called me a "white" something or other, under his breath, and did not dare repeat it out loud when I called him on making a racist remark. The woman dressed in the blue jacket shouted a death threat at me, but backed down when I called her on it. The Newark policeman seemed to be enjoying it all.

No East Orange police had been called, so I assumed that they were not coming. The only thing left for me to do is to present it to the voters of East Orange on this Web site. I don't know if it will have any effect on the election or not, but this is wrong, and the three people in the above photo know it is wrong, but they acted in the confidence that they could all get away with it.

Now that the election is over and Lester Taylor is the new Part-Time Mayor, I expect this will all be washed over and covered up. But it is the purpose of a Museum to remember history for those with short memories, or for the generations who were not yet born when this history happened. REMEMBER.

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