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Dutchess Democrats accuse GOP elections commissioner of perjury

Jan 27, 2021 3:00 pm

Patricia Doxsey is reporting for the Daily Freeman Dutchess County Democrats are calling for an investigation into allegations that county Republican Elections Commissioner Erik Haight lied when he told a judge in October there was insufficient time ahead of the November 3 election to move a Red Hook polling site. In a January 25 letter to Dutchess County District Attorney William V. Grady, Democratic Committee Chairwoman Elisa Sumner accused Haight of committing perjury before a state Supreme Court justice on two separate occasions. Haight opposed a request to move the Red Hook District 5 polling site from St. John the Evangelist Church to the Bard College campus. Haight said January 26, "I don't think it should be a surprise to anybody that the Democratic Committee chair would make allegations against the Republican elections commissioner. It's pretty transparent that this is a political attack without merit." Sumner alleged in her letter to Grady that Haight lied to the court twice in the weeks leading up to the Nov.ember election, while a lawsuit over the location of the Red Hook polling site winding its way through the courts. “To allow someone in charge of our elections to lie to the court with impunity, without opening an investigation, would be unconscionable,” Sumner said in a press release. “Our democracy is too fragile to look the other way.” The lawsuit, brought by various parties sought to have a polling place on Bard's Annandale campus, saying the church, three miles from the college, was "inaccessible by public transportation, in clear violation of New York State Election Law, which requires that polling places are situated on public transit routes." Haight opposed the move, arguing it was too close to the election to make the change and that the change would cause confusion among voters. State Supreme Court Justice Marie Rosa initially sided with Haight, but she reversed her decision when she found that the two other polling sites had subsequently been moved. Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.