EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

May 7, 2013

Board of Registrars will not investigate Saab

Former candidate voluntarily removed his name from Salisbury voter list amid controversy

SALISBURY — The Board of Registrars will not investigate the residency and voter eligibility issues swirling around local real estate agent and recent selectman’s candidate Thomas Saab, after he took an option offered by the town clerk and voluntarily removed his name from the Salisbury voter list.

Saab’s residency and candidacy were challenged by the Rev. Dr. Robert Gallagher after he learned that Saab, a candidate in the recent selectmen’s race, still held a New Hampshire’s driver’s license and his car had remained registered in Salem, N.H., where he formerly lived. Saab claims, however, he’s been a permanent resident in Salisbury for the past two years.

Gallagher’s challenge continued on the grounds that, in spite of the fact that Saab had been listed on Salisbury’s list of registered voters since March 29, 2000, he remained on the voter checklist in Salem, N.H., under an “active” status, as of this April 30, the day of Salisbury’s election.

Salisbury’s Board of Registrars met to consider Gallagher’s challenge last week. Town Clerk Wilma McDonald told the three town-appointed registrars that upon the advice of Town Counsel Lauren Goldberg, she sent Saab a letter on April 29, informing him of the challenge and the registrars’ meeting, However, the letter, which McDonald said was mostly written by Goldberg, also offered Saab a way out of the controversy with no further investigation.

“If you have in fact moved from the Town of Salisbury or believe that you are no longer properly registered to vote in the Town, you may, of course, voluntarily remove your name from the voters list pursuant to (Massachusetts General Law, Chapter) 51, (section) 38,” McDonald wrote. “Be informed that if you do request removal of your name from the voters list, either by requesting same directly in writing or registering to vote somewhere else, the Board of Registrars will take no further action regarding the complaint.”

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