Update: Superior Court Judge Gardner denied Baraka’s request after a short hearing on Monday afternoon.
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka wants a judge to allow voters in tomorrow’s non-partisan municipal election to vote at any polling place in their ward.
Baraka and his slate of city council candidates allege that “on the eve of Election Day, thousands of voters in the City of Newark have been suddenly notified that they are to be voting in different polling locations than those which they have previously voted, often for decades.”
In court filings, Baraka claims that some voters received no notification at all about the changes to their polling location.
His attorney, Scott Salmon, said in court filings that the issue is “causing significant voter confusion and has the potential to disenfranchise voters due to this confusion”
“In several instances, these voting changes do not make any logical sense, as voters are being told that they can no longer vote in a location that is much closer to where they live and are instead required to vote elsewhere, farther away,” Salmon stated in a lawsuit filed on Monday morning.
The action, filed against the Newark City Clerk and the Essex County Board of Elections, could go before a judge today.
In one case, Villa Victoria, an affordable housing complex for senior citizens, has a polling location in their building, but not for residents of that building. After new wards and voting districts were drawn, Villa Victoria residents must go about one-half mile away to vote.