A lawsuit was filed today against embattled Morris County Clerk Ann Grossi alleging that she failed to follow state election law by not printing ballots for the Dover primary election in English and Spanish.
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.
The plaintiff in the suit is Edward Correa, one of the candidates for Democratic County Committeeman in Dover. He is represented by attorney Scott Salmon of Jardim, Meisner & Susser.
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 his suit, Salmon is requesting that the court order Grossi to either reprint the Dover ballots, or place stickers or signage in the voting booth. He is also asking the court to appoint an election monitor for Dover at the expense of Grossi’s office.
This is the second time this year that Grossi will find herself in court. Last month, 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.
Caposella called the Grossi memorandum “illegal.”
Grossi did not respond to a 6:20 PM call seeking comment.
Deputy County Clerk John Wojtaszek is also named in the suit.Correa v Grossi May 2018