Nassau County voters are advised to remain vigilant as reports emerge of a scheme involving individuals posing as Board of Elections officials across several counties aimed at harassing and intimidating registered voters.
The New York State Board of Elections has issued a warning to county election authorities about this deceptive tactic. Impersonators are falsely representing themselves as election personnel, approaching voters at their homes and accusing them of unlawful multiple registrations.
Officials from the Nassau County Board of Elections emphasize that their personnel do not engage in door-to-door visits to discuss voter registration statuses.
The state Board of Elections warned New Yorkers against impersonating officers at the end of August.
“We are extremely alarmed by these actions. These individuals are impersonating government officials in an effort to intimidate voters based on inaccurate and misleading information,” said Raymond J. Riley III, co-executive director of the board in a statement Aug. 31. “We strongly encourage those engaging in these activities to cease immediately.”
Any person who is approached at their home by a person claiming to be a Board of Elections staffer should immediately request identification and if the individual appears suspicious or refuses, the board recommends collecting as much information as possible and not to give out any personal information.
Then contact law enforcement to report the incident. Criminal impersonation in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor in New York State.
“The ability to vote without fear or intimidation is one our most sacred rights as American citizens, and it is unconscionable that anyone would even attempt to sabotage the sanctity of this bedrock democratic principle,” said Nassau County Legislator Joshua Lafazan.
“We must all be alert and engaged to protect ourselves from being deceived by these malicious imposters,” Lafazan continued, “If anyone ever claims to be a Board of Elections employee and confronts you about your voter registration, alert the authorities so that we can hold these bad actors accountable.”
Attempts to reach Republican Party members to comment were unavailing.
“We want to assure all New Yorkers that any employee of the state or county Board of Elections would conduct themselves in a professional manner and willingly present identification when engaging with voters,” said Kristen Zebrowski Stavisky, co-executive director of the State Board of Elections. “When in doubt, please know you can
always contact your state or county Board of Elections directly with any questions.”
Residents can also report the person to the Nassau County Board of Elections at 516-571-VOTE (8683) or the Office of the Attorney General Helpline at 1-800-771-7755; hearing/voice impaired individuals can call 1-800-788-9898. All incidents will be reported to the Nassau County Police Department.
To check your voter registration status or register to vote, visit https://www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/BOE/index.html.
The registration deadline is Oct. 28, 2023.