EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 21, 2013

State invites public to meeting about Nov. 5 election

By Keith Eddings

---- — LAWRENCE — State election officials will hold a public meeting on Thursday to explain the work observers for Secretary of State William Galvin will do as the city elects a mayor and City Council on Nov. 5.

Michelle Tassinari, director of Secretary of State’s Election Division, announced the meeting in an e-mail she sent Friday to mayoral candidate Daniel Rivera, who earlier asked the state to take over management of the election and post observers in each of the city’s 24 polling places.

Rivera, who is challenging incumbent Mayor William Lantigua, said the state’s intercession is necessary “to stop the current mayor from running roughshod on the precinct level operations.”

Lantigua did not return a phone call seeking comment at the time Rivera made the allegation.

Tassinari rejected Rivera’s request, saying it lacked specifics.

The state regularly sends observers to Lawrence on election days, as it did for the preliminary election on Sept. 17, because of the city’s history of voting irregularities.

In an interview after the preliminary election, Brian McNiff, a spokesman for Galvin, declined to describe what the observers noted on Sept. 17 or to release documents related to their presence in the city, including any findings or recommendations they may have made.

The Eagle-Tribune responded by filing a Public Records Law request for the documents.

Tassinari said Friday that she will release the documents tomorrow.

Thursday’s meeting will be held at 6 p.m. at the Northern Essex Registry of Deeds at 354 Merrimack Street, suite 304. Those planning to attend should use entrance C.