Election officials warn residents of impersonators

CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Over the weekend, Warren County officials say two women visited a home and claimed to be a part of the Warren County Board of Elections. Then, they accused the resident of being registered to vote in both Washington and Warren counties. And officials like Tom Rogers, from the Washington County Board of Elections, said it’s not just happening in those two counties.

“We do know that they were confronting her, saying that she was registered twice in New York State, which is illegal to register twice. And that information was not correct,” Rogers said. “But they were confronting her that she had done something illegally -which she had not done. And that upset her tremendously.”

Don Lehman, Warren County Director of Public Affairs, said the woman, who moved from South Glens Falls to Warren County, was so shaken up she immediately called the Warren County Board of Elections.

“She indicated that these people said they were from the Washington County Elections and had some questions about the legality of her registration. And you know, she kind of thought there was something a little unusual there,” Lehman said.

Both Warren and Washington County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the matter. The NYS Board of Elections says people have been impersonating Board of Election employees in nine other counties- across party lines. And more may be coming in.

“Police would like to get as much information about who these people are as they can get. You know a license plate number, description, if they have an ID badge of some sort. But we also don’t want people to endanger themselves and confront these people,” Lehman said.

And county officials are reminding people that no one from the Board of Elections on the state or local level will ever visit a home. If there are any registration issues, the board will either call the voter or mail a letter.

“It’s unfortunate, and now it’s gotten to the point where it veered into voter intimidation, which is just not acceptable. It’s not something that we will ever allow,” Kristen Zebrowski Stavisky, Co-Executive Director of the NYS Board of Elections, said.

The NYS Board of Elections also mentioned that those impersonating Board of Elections officials or any public servant can be charged with criminal impersonation.

“Impersonating election officials is really a paramount concern. People going out and reporting to be trustees of an election administration… It is horrifying,” Raymond Riley, Co-Executive Director of the NYS Board of Elections, said.

State and local Board of Election officials hope this will not affect canvassing for local and state election candidates, especially as we get closer to the November elections. News10 did reach out to both Washington and Warren County sheriff’s offices, but neither was able to comment at this time.

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