State appeals court upholds lower court's ruling on Kiryas Joel election inspector controversy

| 02 Jun 2016 | 12:22

    A state appeals court declined to dismiss a challenge to the Orange County Board of Elections' decision not to assign some non-Hasidic election inspectors to work at voting places in Kiryas Joel, according to the New York Law Journal.
    The New York State Appellate Division upheld the March 2015 decision by Supreme Court Justice Maria Rosa, denying a motion by the elections board to dismiss the action.
    “The panel ruled that non-Hasidic election inspectors who were turned away based on ‘cultural differences’ in fact had their constitutional rights violated by the County Board of Elections,” the grassroots group United Monroe wrote on its Facebook page on Wednesday. “This is a big win for the good guys.”
    While the action, Matter of Convers v. County of Orange, was called “academic” by the court due to “the passage of time,” the appeals court also said the plaintiffs' claims that their constitutional and statutory rights were violated by the Board of Elections' refusal to assign them to election districts within Kiryas Joel is still at issue, according to the publication.
    “Elections officials have variously said that the initial assignment of the elections inspectors in 2014 was rescinded due to the cultural differences with the Kiryas Joel community or to the failure of all commissioners on the elections board to sign off on the assignments,” the New York Law Journal said.
    Non-Hasidic residents asked the Board of Elections to assign residents outside Kiryas Joel to monitor balloting, because of complaints that village residents are coerced into voting the way their religious leaders tell them to vote.