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Former Morris County Freeholder Douglas Romaine

County should audit Grossi election practices, ex-freeholder says

Last Democrat to win in Morris County weighs in on Clerk controversy

By David Wildstein, May 21 2018 1:55 pm

The last Democrat to win a countywide election in Morris County says the Freeholders are wrong for refusing to conduct an independent audit of County Clerk Ann Grossi’s office after a Superior Court Judge admonished her for not understanding state election laws.

Douglas Romaine, who was elected Morris County Freeholder in 1973 and served one term, is delivering a letter to the freeholders on Tuesday criticizing them for refusing to take a fresh look at Grossi’s practices.

I have refrained from comment on the Board since I left office but the issue of the conduct and security of our elections is too important for me to remain silent,” said Romaine.

Romaine says the freeholders have the “authority and responsibility to audit any department/ agency which receives county funding.”

“In light of the Superior Court Ruling, which found that the County Clerk had no understanding of state election law, it is incumbent upon the Board to conduct such an examination and to make the results public,” Romaine said.

Freeholder Director Doug Cabana told a  group of Democrats earlier this month that the board does not have oversight authority over elections, according to a county spokesman, Larry Ragonese.

“Faith in our governmental institutions and the electoral process is diminishing and I call upon the Board of Chosen Freeholders to do what is necessary to restore public faith in our system,” Romaine said.  “The tax payers and voters of Morris County expect no less.”

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2 thoughts on “County should audit Grossi election practices, ex-freeholder says

  1. Why are you assuming it was Democrats asking the questions? Her actions affect members of both parties. There were over 10 Morris county citizens who asked the freeholders to audit the clerk. They were from all towns and from both parties.

    1. I don’t assume it, I know it — not that there is anything wrong with it. There were about three dozen Morris County residents there. The Morris County Democrats pushed for turnout:

      Morris County Clerk Ann Grossi was recently admonished by a judge for her ignorance of election law. Throughout her time as County Clerk, Grossi has given municipal clerks, political party committees, and county committee candidates of both parties ILLEGAL INFORMATION on how to run for county committee office. Grossi’s ignorance could have caused over 1000 candidates to be kicked off the ballot through no fault of their own.
      Such flagrant disregard of New Jersey Election Law is unacceptable coming from our County Clerk, whose most important duty is to ensure the integrity of our election system. The judge’s ruling raises important questions about what other election laws could have been overlooked during Ann Grossi’s tenure. This year, Morris County will be home to 2 key Congressional elections and several competitive municipal and county-wide elections. We can’t afford to have a county clerk who does not know election law.
      That’s why Shala Gagliardi, our wonderful and qualified candidate for County Clerk, has called for the Freeholder Board to conduct an independent audit of the election practices within the Morris County Clerk’s office. Please like her Facebook page HERE.
      Tonight, Monday, May 7 at 7 pm, the Morris County Freeholder Board will be holding their monthly Road Meeting at the Butler Borough Municipal Building. It is important that we show the Freeholders that we care about the integrity of our election process. We would like as many people as possible to attend the meeting and demand that they conduct an independent audit of the Clerk’s office to ensure that our elections are conducted to the letter of the law.
      Important Talking Points
      • The County Clerk’s office has given out illegal information to municipal clerks and candidates.
      • Her instructions were in violation of a clear state statute (NJSA 19:23-8).
      • Every other NJ County conducts their elections according to the NJ Statute.
      • The oversight had the ability to kick over 1,000 candidates from both parties off the ballot.
      • We should all, including the Freeholders, be concerned about the integrity of our elections.
      • There are 2 key Congressional elections, dozens of municipal races, and 4 county-wide races happening in Morris County this year.
      • It’s essential to our democracy that our elections be conducted to the letter of the law.
      • The Freeholder Board has the power to appoint an independent attorney to audit the practices within county departments.
      • Call on the Freeholders to exercise their power to conduct an independent audit of the County Clerk’s office.
      Freeholder Board Meeting
      TODAY Monday, May 7
      7:00 PM
      Butler Borough Municipal Building
      1 Ace Rd
      Butler, NJ 07405

      Please try to attend the meeting and speak if you can. You can contact our Political Director, Ore Obiwumi at ore@northjerseyresearch.com or visit OUR EVENT for more information.
      We hope to see you at the meeting tomorrow evening.

      Morris County Democratic Committee

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