HOBOKEN – Ward 4 candidate Dana Wefer claims that inappropriate electioneering took place this morning at the 220 Adams Street polling location.
According to Wefer, when she arrived at 6 a.m., the doors were locked and an official challenger, George DeStefano, was directing people to a side door where they could enter the building. Wefer believes that because of DeStefano’s challenger status, that guidance was inappropriate and that the main door should have been open to prevent confusion for those coming to cast their ballots in that location.
“This morning has been chaos,” Wefer told PolitickerNJ after she cast her own vote at the Firehouse on Observer Highway. “This is not a clean race the other side is running. You cannot have an advocate for a candidate directing people.”
Wefer also said that she insisted that the county employees call the board of elections but they refused.
According to a county employee at 220 Adams, however, the polling location was in no violation this morning. The employee—who did not want to be named—said that the main door was locked because 220 Adams is a private senior citizen residence and that the door was unlocked by 7 a.m. when a maintenance worker from the building unlocked it. The employee said that no one was turned away from voting provided that they used either of the two sets of doors to the building’s Community Room where the voting machines are set up.
Official Challenger Christina Francolino said that Wefer was “irate” when she came into the building.
“She was saying that people are electioneering when it never happened,” Francolino told PolitickerNJ. “[DeStefano] was not electioneering, he was just directing people.”
In Ward 4, Wefer is facing off against incumbent Tim Occhipinti and former Assemblyman Ruben Ramos. Since Wefer is a member of Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s “Team Zimmer” slate, it would be a big win for the mayor if she was able to win a council seat. The current representative, Occhipinti, and Wefer’s other challenger, Ramos, ran against Zimmer for mayor in 2013 and lost.
“No matter how dirty the campaign gets I am going to keep encouraging people to vote,” Wefer said.