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January 29, 2014

Windham voter board cancellation questioned

Meeting cancellation prompts candidacy

WINDHAM — A member of the town board that oversees the voter checklist has asked state officials to investigate the chairman’s cancellation of a meeting.

At issue is whether state law was violated.

Assistant Attorney General Stephen LaBonte, who handles election law complaints for the state, said there is no investigation at this point.

LaBonte said he told a Windham voter who raised the issue she could file a formal complaint with the state, but that has not happened.

Eileen Mashimo, a member of the supervisors of the checklist, said she will do so within days.

“At this point, considering what happened, I have no choice,” Mashimo said yesterday.

The meeting cancellation, meanwhile, has led to a candidacy for the town board by David Bates, a former state representative who served as chairman of the House Election Law Committee while in the Legislature.

The chairman of the supervisors, Robert Skinner, refused to talk about the matter yesterday.

“I’m not commenting about that,” Skinner said.

He denied state officials were looking into the board’s actions, demanded to know how a reporter had heard about the issue, repeated his refusal to comment, then hung up the phone.

Town Administrator David Sullivan said it had been brought to his attention, but it involved the board, not his office.

Charles Russo, who sits on the board with Skinner and Mashimo, said Skinner contacted him before the meeting last Tuesday to say he was cancelling.

“The chairman said he was cancelling because of the bad weather that was ensuing,” Russo said.

The board was planning to meet because it was the last day people could register to vote for Town Meeting, he said.

“You can’t reschedule it,” Russo said.

Mashimo shares Russo’s opinion.

She said she told Skinner he couldn’t cancel under state law.

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