YONKERS, NY – April 23, 2020 — Yonkers City Court Judge candidate Judge Karen Best today announced reports her campaign received a complaint of voter intimidation and harassment, and called for an immediate investigation before the June 23rd primary election.
“In the time since the end of the petitioning period, I received a report of voter harassment and intimidation of Yonkers residents who signed my nominating petition. According to one witness, the home health aide to an elderly man, an individual carrying a badge visited voters that signed my petition, harassing them, and pressuring them to state that they had in fact not signed my nominating petition. I presume that this was done to aid in the effort to remove my name from the June 23rd primary ballot.
“As reported by multiple news outlets, this year’s petitioning process has already been tainted by fraud and highly questionable activity on behalf of multiple judicial candidates’ campaigns. I am appalled that individuals associated with fraudulent petitions which were invalidated by the Westchester County Board of Elections then had the audacity to file objections to my own legitimate signatures, alongside a concerted effort to intimidate and harass voters who signed my petitions.
“These reports are extremely troubling. If proven true, this activity could potentially constitute voter intimidation, fraud, disenfranchisement of Yonkers voters, misuse of official resources, and violation of the Governor’s social distancing and stay-at-home orders. In addition to the political, legal, and ethical implications of this activity, I am extremely disappointed that someone, be it a rival campaign or a private citizen felt the need to knock on doors and put lives at risk during the COVID-19 crisis for illegitimate and politically motivated reasons.
“I believe that judicial campaigns should be models of personal and political ethics, and I am extremely disappointed that this race has already been tainted by highly questionable electioneering. I call upon the Westchester County Board of Elections, District Attorney Anthony Scarpino, Jr., and Attorney General Leticia James to investigate these reports of voter intimidation before the June 23rd primary, and help ensure that Yonkers voters get the campaign and bench that they deserve.”