Campaign manager Jason O’Donnell and campaign spokesman Michael Makarski produced a witness statement that alleged that the owner of a Bayonne nail salon was asked by a James Davis campaign representative to register to vote in the upcoming runoff election even though she doesn't live in town. She is a Fort Lee resident.
The runoff election will be held next week.
The witness to the alleged fraud, Bayonne resident Patricia Kraszyk, was a client of the salon when she saw a campaign worker for candidate James Davis hand a completed document to the salon owner, telling her she can vote. However, the business owner doesn't live in town. Krasyk said she asked the salon owner about this, and the owner told her that the campaign worker said it didn't matter that she doesn't live here, and used her business address.
(Kraszyk also happens to work for the Bayonne Community News and Hudson Reporter as advertising manager.)
“We’re here to tell the story of absolute voter fraud here in Bayonne,” Makarski said. “This is a clear case of voter fraud.”
O’Donnell said that the Board of Elections had investigated the allegation, and that the salon owner's name had subsequently been taken off the voting rolls. He further stated that an investigation by the Smith campaign had turned up an additional 30 questionable voter registrations, and that they had turned those names over to the Board of Elections for scrutiny as well.
Donna DeSomma, secretary at the Hudson County Superintendent of Elections Office, confirmed that the registration had been investigated and found to be illegal. She also confirmed that the salon owner herself was not aware that the registration was illegal.
John Brzozowski, acting county superintendent of elections, said that any allegations of voter fraud that are believed to have merit are forwarded to the county prosecutor’s office and that the state attorney general is then notified.
Neither Smith nor Davis won more than 50 percent of the vote in the regular May 13 election and thus are now in a runoff on June 10. Four council seats are also being contested in the runoff.
The Davis campaign has been called for comment and their response will be posted if it is received. – Joseph Passantino