New York State Attorney General Letitia James during a press...

New York State Attorney General Letitia James during a press conference at her Manhattan office on May 2. Credit: Charles Eckert

State Attorney General Letitia James has alerted Nassau County Board of Elections officials that she will monitor poll watchers at early-voting sites in Nassau over the weekend, according to a Wednesday letter from her office.

The note addressed to Democratic Commissioner James P. Scheuerman and Republican Commissioner Louis G. Savinetti says that James is concerned about reports of poll watchers “improperly challenging voter signatures; standing in the vicinity of privacy booths; standing in unauthorized areas; videotaping and/or photographing voters within the polling place” and other improper behavior.

“The actions of poll watchers as described in these reports, if accurate, could constitute voter intimidation and could ultimately chill the vote in Nassau County,” said the two-page letter, which cites state statutes guaranteeing privacy for voters and prohibiting voter intimidation.

It said the attorney general's monitoring would take place primarily through an election protection hotline, but it also requests “that the board permit representatives from our office to serve as monitors this weekend.” 

Scheuerman said in an email, "We are here to ensure that every voter votes without fear of intimidation."

Savinetti said in an email, "We have zero tolerance for any improper or illegal acts at our polling sites."

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