EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

November 5, 2012

Fake signatures spark call for takeover

(Continued)

Moran and Cuff are running for 17th Essex House seat, which includes parts of Lawrence, Andover and Methuen. The seat is now held by Paul Adams, who is giving it up to run for the state Senate.

A few other political leaders yesterday joined Wilson, the candidate for Register of Deeds, in calling on the state to monitor Lawrence’s 24 polling places tomorrow.

“I would ask that the Secretary of State’s office be fully involved in ensuring that Tuesday’s elections are held in a fair and equitable manner,” said City Councilor Marc Laplante. “My concern is that we’re unsure as to how far it goes. This may be an isolated incident or it could be larger and no one today knows for sure.”

Mayor William Lantigua has not been implicated in the alleged irregularities in the Election Division, but a leader of the failed efforts to recall him earlier this year said any troubles in the division are fostered by “people working at City Hall under Lantigua who are just doing anything they want, feeling they’re free of any responsibility.”

“This is the same tactic that Willie claimed we were doing during the recall,” Wayne Hayes said. “He claimed that people (in the recall effort) were just sitting around a picnic table having beers and picking names out of the phone book and putting them down on (recall) petitions.”

Lantigua could not be reached for a response yesterday.

Tejeda has worked as the Election Division’s bilingual coordinator since Jan. 21, 2002, when the city created the position to settle a claims by the U.S. Justice Department that its election practices discriminated against minorities.

His duties include providing voter services to Lawrence’s Spanish speaking residents. He earns $30,336 annually.

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