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October 25, 2013

State officials: Call police, warden immediately if you see election irregularities

LAWRENCE — A team of elections officials from Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin’s Office offered voters advice on how to run a fair election and what to do if they observe questionable activity around the city’s 24 polling locations.

If voters sees something that appears to be improper, they should contact a police officer or an elections warden immediately and report the transgression, Paul Lazour, special counsel to Secretary Galvin, told the crowd of more than 80 people last night during an informational meeting at the Northern Essex Registry of Deeds office.

“We can take emergency action that day through the Secretary of State’s Office. If we have information, something can be done that day,” Lazour said.

“There are procedures that can be done quickly and effectively,” he said. Lazour said last night’s public session was scheduled at the request of Galvin.

Michelle Tassinari, director of Secretary of State’s Election Division, announced the meeting in an e-mail she sent last 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.”

Tassinari briefed those in attendance with a summary of the laws and regulations as they related to activity at the voting polls. She also distributed a 5-page handout titled “Election Day Procedures for November 5th, 2013 Municipal Election in the City of Lawrence.” Tassinari opened the discussion to questions from the audience after a 20-meeting briefing.

Rivera pressed Tassinari for answers on how many observers that Galvin’s office planned to send to Lawrence on Election Day.

“We have to evaluate what we have for resources and what we can send up here,” Tassinari said.

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