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Morris County Clerk Ann Grossi

Judge will hear Grossi lawsuit on Monday

Minkowitz sets hearing for 16 hours before polls open

By David Wildstein

Arguments in a lawsuit alleging that Morris County Clerk Anne Grossi failed to follow state election law will make its way to a courtroom on Monday.

Assignment Judge Stuart Minkowitz will hear arguments at 2 PM Monday, just sixteen hours before the polls open.  It is the judge’s first available time slot, his law clerk told the New Jersey Globe.

The suit, filed yesterday by attorney Scott Salmon of Jardim, Meisner & Susser on behalf of Dover Democratic county committee candidate Edward Correa, alleges that Grossi did not print ballots for the Dover primary election in English and Spanish to mirror the sample ballots.

Salmon is asking the court to order that the ballots be reprinted, and among other things, to appoint an election monitor.

Grossi is required to print ballots bilingually for Dover, where 69.4% of residents are Hispanic or Latino.  She printed bilingual sample ballots, but not the actual ballot or the vote by mail (VBM) ballot.  New Jersey law requires sample ballots to be mirror images of the actual ballots and requires bilingual ballots of any voting district that is more than 10% non-English speaking.

Morris County Democrats are in the middle of a fight over control of the Dover Democratic Party, which they claim does not represent the diversity of the town. Democrats are running a slate of alderman and county committee candidates geared at enhancing representation by the town’s Hispanic majority.

“Since the County Clerk began sending mail-in ballots to voters, it has started to become evident that the County Clerk has no intention of following New Jersey law. Although numerous individuals have requested their ballots using the Spanish-language form, they have received them only in English, making it impossible to decipher the instructions or offices up for election,” Salmon wrote in his complaint.  “Just as egregiously, the mail-in ballots fail to use the proper formatting required by law, which will add to the confusion.”

In April, Superior Court Judge Ernest Caposella rebuked her for failing to understand New Jersey election law, saying Grossi “administered a memorandum that runs counter to the relevant state statute” in her instructions to 41 municipal clerks regarding the number of signatures needed on county committee petitions.

Grossi did not immediately respond to a 1:47 PM phone call seeking comment.

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