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Non-Hasidic Bloomingburg Residents And Neighboring Elected Officials demand DA Investigate Alleged Hasidic Voter Misconduct

Residents of a tiny 420-person village in the Catskill Mountains in New York State are demanding that Sullivan County District Attorney James Farrell investigate the Sullivan County Board of Elections. The outraged Bloomingburg residents and elected officials from the adjoining Town of Mamakating claim a substantial number of unregistered voters were improperly allowed to vote in the local village election held earlier this month, the MidHudson News reported.


Non-hasidic Bloomingburg residents and Mamakating elected officials protested yesterday outside Farrell’s office, which is located at the Sullivan County Courthouse in Monticello.

The issue of improper votes being cast was first heard by New York State Supreme Court Justice Stephen Schick in April 2014. Schick found that Modern Orthodox developer Shalom Lamm had tried to throw a previous Bloomingburg election by stuffing the ballot box with improper votes. Lamm is accused by many locals of using deception, bribery and fraud to get approval for a low density golf course and vacation home complex that was in actuality a 396-unit high density development meant to be a new Satmar hasidic “shtetl.”

Mamakating Town Councilwoman Brenda Giraldi said the outraged residents just want to have the allegedly improper votes investigated and the laws enforced if those votes are found to be fraudulent or improper.

“We’re looking for justice. We’re looking for everyone to follow the rule of law, the rules and laws of our zoning codes in our town and we’re looking for a very thorough investigation into alleged voter fraud,” Giraldi said, noting that this is the third election in which there has been alleged voter fraud, and she expects the Board of Elections to do their jobs and enforce the law.

The Times Herald-Record reported that the Board of Elections is scheduled to open Bloomingburg affidavit and absentee ballots today, but has barred the press from witnessing the process, despite there apparently being no law or specific court order supporting that ban.

Sullivan County reportedly claims an order by New York State Supreme Court Justice Stephan Schick does not allow the press to view the opening of the 23 sealed affidavit and 18 absentee ballots. Only candidates, their attorneys and the attorneys’ assistants can be present under the court order, the county claims.

But Schick’s order does not specifically exclude the press – it just mandates that candidates, attorneys and attorney’s assistants be allowed to view the process. Schick’s clerk, Claire Sullivan, reportedly told the Times Herald-Record she did not know if election law specifically bars the media from witnessing this type of process or if a court order is necessary for the media to be allowed to watch it.

The hasidic candidate for the open village Board of Trustees seat, Aaron Tzvi Rabiner, currently holds an unofficial 75 to 73 lead over incumbent Katherine Roemer.



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