Concerns grow ahead of elections in Kiryas Joel
Allegations of corruption, voter fraud and discrimination are resurfacing in Orange County as the Hudson Valley gears up for primary season.
There are growing concerns there will be a repeat of the previous problems at the polls that occurred in Monroe and the Hasidic village of Kiryas Joel.
Last year in Kiryas Joel, inspectors and poll watchers butted heads as a number of voter signatures were disputed.
"Poll watchers were literally thrown out," said Monroe inspector Andrew Buck. "They weren't allowed to do their duty or make challenges."
This year, Buck is demanding answers after his request to be placed in Kiryas Joel on Election Day was denied.
On Thursday, he gave News 12 the taped explanation he recorded on the phone from Orange County Democratic Board of Elections Commissioner Susan Bahren that said they were just going to place the people from Kiryas Joel in the Kiryas Joel districts.
Buck calls the board's decision discriminatory behavior.
News 12 checked with the New York State Board of Elections, which said poll inspectors can be assigned anywhere at the discretion of the local board.
Reporters reached out to County Executive Steve Neuhaus, who called the decision "troubling" and said he'd look into what, if anything, can be done ahead of Election Day.