A Uniondale school board candidate who was narrowly defeated in last month's election has alleged voter fraud and asked the New York State education commissioner to overturn the results and order a new election.
Terenna Williams, who lost to incumbent James Sharpe III, school board president, by 14 votes, alleged that seals affixed to three of six voting machines were breached.
The seals are in place to prevent changes to the number of votes cast and the number of votes recorded by the machines, said Williams' attorney, Austin Graff of Carle Place. That could mean someone had tampered with them.
"I believe that the election was stolen," said Williams, 48, of Uniondale.
School officials, who have until the end of the month to respond to Williams' petition, declined to comment Friday.
"It is the practice of the Uniondale Union Free School District not to comment on any pending litigation and any appeals to the New York State Commissioner of Education," Edward McCarthy, attorney for the district, said in a statement.
In her appeal to the commissioner, Williams also said her team inspected all six voting machines on June 3, about two weeks after the election, and discovered that the number of votes counted did not match the number of signatures in the books that voters were asked to sign.
The three machines at Uniondale High School counted a total of 686 votes, but there were 695 signatures on the books. At the Lawrence Roads Middle School, the three machines counted a total of 498 votes, but there were only 495 signatures on the books, according to Williams' petition sent to the commissioner Wednesday.
Williams received 585 votes and Sharpe 599, a difference of 14 votes. The irregular number of votes amounted to 12.
On May 19, voters went to the polls to elect two trustees to sit on a five-member board that controls how hundreds of millions dollars of taxpayers' money should be spent.
Williams also alleged that the district improperly allowed its email and phone systems to be used to promote Sharpe and his ally, Emerson Mott, who also won.
The teachers union used the school email to urge district employees to support the school's $175 million budget and vote for Sharpe and Mott, Williams said.
Williams' petition included an email from Paul Marconi, head of the teachers union, to the school district's email that reaches all teachers, administrators and other staff. On Election Day, at 10:09 a.m. Marconi sent an email to the teachers.
"We need your help. Please vote 'YES' for the School Board Budget in Uniondale or your home community. In Uniondale, Please Re-elect EMERSON MOTT & JAMES SHARPE. Every vote counts!" according to the email attached to Williams' petition.
Marconi could not be reached Friday for comment.