FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact (English & Spanish):
Steve McFarland, 516-366-0259, firstname.lastname@example.org
Civic & Civil Rights Groups Condemn Hempstead Election Fraud
Record Turnout, Widespread Irregularities – Advocates Demand Justice Over Politics
HEMPSTEAD, NY — One day after record voter turnout and civic engagement signaled the start of a new era here, civil rights and civic organizations are condemning today's rushed decision to count 31 additional absentee ballots in the School Board election, despite a federal injunction, and to certify the results of an election plagued by voter suppression and fraud.
Steve McFarland, Coordinator of the Long Island Civic Engagement Table, said, "Hempstead is strong. Parents, teachers, students, and community members showed that strength through historic turnout in Tuesday's School Board election. Hempstead is stronger even than the widespread voter suppression and election fraud we witnessed yesterday. Firsthand accounts of Latino citizens who were turned away from the polls and improperly asked to show ID are an outrage. We condemn today's rash action by the current Hempstead School Board, in apparent defiance of a court injunction, and demand a full investigation."
Jason Starr, Director of the Nassau County Chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union, said, "The record turnout shows that the Hempstead community is ready for a change from the systemic dysfunction, nepotism, and ineptitude that has become par for the course with the current Board and administration. We demand an investigation into the pervasive violations of election law to ensure that the community's choices for new leadership are acknowledged and respected."
Phil Mickulas, Executive Director of Family & Children's Association, added, "Today's antics by the Hempstead School Board reveal the depth and seriousness of the problems inherent in a corrupt system that denies equal opportunity to thousands of children in the district. As State Commissioner John King, Chancellor Merryl Tisch, Regent Roger Tilles, and Newsday's Editorial Board have all noted recently, the district is failing its students. Hempstead should be proud of record voter turnout yesterday, but we are all watching and waiting for the leaders we deserve.”
Lucia Gomez-Jimenez, Executive Director of La Fuente-Long Island Civic Participation Project, said, "The Latino community is an integral part of our school district and the Hempstead community at-large. We turned out to make our voices heard and our communities win respect, but our members’ stories of being turned away at the polls, or rushed through voting, are deeply troubling. Our democracy guarantees every citizen the right to vote, no matter the language they speak or their country of origin. We expect and demand more from the Hempstead School District and we call upon our Attorney General Schneiderman and District Attorney Rice to immediately intervene and investigate any irregularity."