Old Bridge - In their quest to uphold the integrity of the Board of Elections, Republican Commissioners, Sylvia Engel, as Chair of the Middlesex County Board of Elections and Don Katz, as Commissioner of the Middlesex County Board of Elections, as plaintiffs, represented by Brian M. English, Esq., of the law firm of Tompkins, McGuire, Wachenfeld & Barry, took the County Democrat Freeholders to court.
After the Middlesex County Board of Elections Commissioners specifically voted against creating the position of Project Manager and hiring Thomas Lynch (former Chief of Staff for Democrat Senator Patrick Diegnan), the Democrat Freeholder board created the position and hired Lynch anyway.
Supported by opinions set forth from three different NJ Attorney Generals, spanning 30 years under both Democrat and Republican administrations, Superior Court Judge Gary K. Wolinetz ruled that the Middlesex County Freeholders action was illegal and only the County Boards of Elections, acting as a Board, have the power to hire or fire employees.
Another attempt of the Middlesex Democrat Freeholder Board to interfere with Board of Election decisions took place last month. The Democrats wanted to use new voting machines in a pilot program for the primary election. Based on testimony from Board of Election staff, that due to staffing and other issues, it would not be possible to run a pilot program for the primary election using current voting machines and at the same time using new voting machines in some municipalities. When the motion to use the new machines failed, the Middlesex Democrat Freeholder Board took the Republican Board of Election Commissioners to court, in an attempt to overrule the Board of Election decision. The judge threw the case out.
"Hopefully, the Middlesex County Freeholders now understand that the Board of Elections is a bipartisan/non-partisan government office. Their attempt to interfere, at the taxpayer and voter expense must stop." said Lucille Panos Middlesex County Republican Chairwoman.