Video: Voter alleges intimidation tactics at Morris Township polling place.
By Kevin Coughlin
A strange election in Morris Township began on Tuesday morning with a charge of voter intimidation at a polling place, and ended late in the evening behind closed doors in the Morris County Clerk’s Office.
As of 11 pm, county figures were showing that incumbent Republicans Matheu Nunn and Bruce Sisler had won re-election to the township committee, with 2,083 and 2,043 votes, respectively, defeating Democratic challengers Jeff Grayzel (2,041) and Cathy Wilson (2,020).
Only a half hour earlier, however, the county was reporting that with all districts counted, Grayzel had a one-vote lead over Nunn, 2,175 to 2,174. Wilson trailed Nunn by nine votes, and Sisler was last with 2,050.
The numbers changed online while Nunn, Sisler and the rest of the township committee, along with former township GOP chairman Tom Luby and GOP consultant Alan Zakin met behind closed doors with county Clerk Ann Grossi, said Grayzel.
“It’s terribly disturbing that the change happened while there was a private meeting inside the Clerk’s office with the entire Morris Township committee,” said Grayzel, who intends to pursue a recount.
The former committeeman lost a recount by 14 votes last year. His victory in 2007 followed a recount and court-ordered runoff.
Grayzel said Grossi denied his request for inclusion in the discussions inside her office. “She said she can meet with anyone she wants to,” he said.
Grossi and Nunn could not be reached for comment late on Tuesday.
Earlier in the day, a voter told NBC TV that poll workers at the Convent Station voting place instructed Democrats and Republicans to use separate voting machines — a violation of voter confidentiality.
“This is intimidation and it’s not how things are supposed to work,'” voter Alison Gillen told the TV station. “It just seemed to me that they were trying to prevent any Democratic votes.”
The Morris County Board of Elections said it “immediately fixed the problem by re-educating the poll workers,” according to the broadcast account.