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Complaints of voter intimidation at polls, misleading robocalls

Elections Tuesday in Nassau and Suffolk counties sparked complaints of voter intimidation at the polls and misleading last-minute robocalls.

Nassau Democrats alleged that Republican poll watchers at five locations in Valley Stream and Elmont were illegally intimidating voters who were trying to cast ballots. Nassau County Board of Elections Democratic Commissioner William Biamonte said that at the entrance to each of the polling locations, three or more people were stopping voters, asking for identification. He said that is illegal.

Nassau GOP spokesman Tony Santino did not respond to requests for comment.

"We are aware of the complaints," said Nassau district attorney's office spokesman Shams Tarek. "We'll review any reports we get from the police or board of elections."

There also were reports of Republican voters in areas of Nassau where GOP county legislators had no Democratic opponents receiving automated calls saying there was no need for them to vote. The presumption was that the calls were made by Democrats trying to keep turnout low in GOP-heavy districts to help Democrats running countywide.

In Suffolk, the widow of late presiding officer William Lindsay made a robocall Tuesday on behalf of her son, Democrat William Lindsay Jr., who is seeking his father's former seat in the 8th Legislative District. She said late calls from her son's opponents "set a new low."

Pat Lindsay said she had received a robocall "which claimed my husband, Bill, would be ashamed of our son if he were still alive." William Lindsay died of cancer in September.

Officials said the call was from County Treasurer Angie Carpenter, a Republican who supports Lindsay's foe, Anthony Musumeci. Frank Tantone, Islip Republican chairman, said Carpenter's message was about attack ads against Musumeci, and that Lindsay's father would have been "disappointed in that kind of behavior."

Carpenter could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.

With Rick Brand, Robert Brodsky and Mackenzie Issler

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