Espada Using Securtiy Guards and Roadblocks to Sway Voters?
September 14th, 2010

Despite massive backing from editorial boards, unions and good government groups, Gustavo Rivera’s campaign faces a great challenge–winning the vote away from Sen. Pedro Espada. The Rivera campaign has issued a press release detailing ways they say Espada’s camp is violating election rules. Some of the accusations include having security guards ask who people are voting for –only allowing them in if they support Espada. The Espada campaign is also alleged to have set up a road block at a polling place to stop cars and hand out campaign literature. No one said it was going to be easy for Rivera. Here is a sample of accusations against the Espada campaign:

“At 268 East 207th Street: Senator Pedro Espada was inside the polling location, talking to voters,
handing out literature, and saying “vote for me” with his campaign workers.

At P.S. 33: Pedro G. Espada handed out literature for his father inside the poll site.

At Vladeck Hall, 74 Van Cortlandt Park: An Espada staffer on government payroll, Michael Gary, who is apparently a poll inspector, steered people to vote for Espada. Once voters are inside the poll site, Gary said, “I speak Spanish and I can help you vote.”

At Middle School 80: As soon as the police left for lunch, Espada volunteers started leafleting within
the poll site vicinity. Also, the person who is giving instruction for voters changed the instructions
from English to Spanish for an English-speaking voter so the voter could not understand. The
Spanish interpreter gave Espada volunteers high-fives and hugs as he walked out of the polling site.

At Fort Independence Community Center at 3350 Bailey Avenue: An Espada poll worker said to Rivera workers, “you better tell your people to behave because I’m likely to stab first.”

Fordham Hill Coop, 2440 Sedgwick Ave: Several canvassers said the apartment building security guards at the poll site have asked voters who they are voting for. Only Espada voters have been allowed into the building.

At P.S. 70, Eastburn Avenue and 173rd Street: There was no Spanish interpreter at the poll site. The
Espada poll watcher had a “poll workers” certificate and a sign that said, “I speak Spanish”. She was told to cease and desist.

P.S. 93 at 182 Washington Street: Espada’s workers set up a road block to stop traffic and are giving out literature.

At P.S. 57: Ruth T.P. Smith, one of the poll inspectors who is close friends with Espada, told people to vote for Espada inside the poll site.

At P.S. 23: An Espada worker wearing campaign paraphernalia inside the poll site, was asked to leave, but refused.”

If you see anything fishy going on at your polling place, whether by campaigns or just general voting problems let us know.

By on September 14, 2010, 3:19 pm
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