Freeport election raises voter questions

August 12, 2013 3:00:44 PM PDT
Eyewitness News obtained the original check in sheets from the Freeport mayoral election last March.

Poll workers jotted down voter's names when they first arrived to the polling places. In some cases, we found the same names with the same addresses appearing multiple times at the same polling place.

Francisco Bermudez, for example, says he only voted once but his name and address is listed twice. He and his father share the same name, but his father lives in Florida and has not lived at the listed address in 15 years.

Then there's the name Mary Gordon, who is listed as having checked in to a polling place with an address from a house on Gordon Place, but we were told by the homeowner no one lives here by that name.

We spent hours pouring over the voting records at Freeport Village Hall. We weren't allowed to film the records, but we found dozens of signatures missing even though their names appeared on the yellow check in sheets.

Then we stumbled upon something even stranger.

A weird signature mark next to the name of Roderick Avitabile. The only problem is he died in 2005.

His widow, Lorraine Avitabile, was at a loss for words when we told her.

"I'm really kind of puzzled about the whole thing," she said.

Milagros Mattei worked as a secretary for the village during the election. She was fired from her job a few weeks ago, she believes, because she told village officials she was uncomfortable with things she saw happen during the election.

"We had all these people coming in with different lists we don't know what those lists were," Mattei said.

Mattei says absentee ballots were unaccounted for and people were allowed to vote who were not listed as even living in Freeport. All they had to do was sign an affidavit saying they did

"They say they live here and they say let them vote, let them vote, let them vote as long as the affidavit is there," Mattei said.

We reached out to the village of Freeport for a comment on all this. They referred us to their outside counsel Martin Connor who said, "Of course there are a couple of isolated irregularities in every election. There were no improprieties with any of the records"