Voter Intimidation Charged in Yonkers


In Yonkers, volunteers for the Andrea Stewart-Cousins campaign have reported incidents of alleged voter intimidation at the polls today. Stewart-Cousins, a Democratic candidate for State Senate, lost in 2004 by 18 votes to Nick Spano. She’s challenging him again.

At one polling site, say her volunteers, the lever for Stewart-Cousins couldn’t be pulled down; a technician was called. The workers further charge that an armed and badge-wearing state trooper is traveling around to polling sites in the company of GOP operatives, and that Yonkers police are making unnecessary stops at polling places, including the one at Lincoln High School. A volunteer says the cops have been showing up every 20 minutes for no apparent reason.

The allegations regarding the state trooper and the broken machine have been reported to Justice Department observers.

Tony Giambruno, of the Spano campaign, says his side has done nothing wrong. He lobs a countercharge. “There’s been absolutely no voter intimidation by the Spano campaign,” he says. “The only problem we’ve seen has been the continuing violation of the city code in the form of illegal posting of election signs on utility poles, which has been done by the Stewart-Cousins campaign.” (More on this here.)

With so few seriously contested races in New York City, Democratic activists from the five boroughs have been working the polls in Yonkers. Among them are staffers from the officers of State senators Eric Schneiderman and Jose Serrano Jr., as well as Assemblyman Dick Gottfried himself. Gottfried is campaigning for Jane Mayer, a Democratic candidate for Assembly.