Mixup Sends Some Election Hopefuls Home Without Filing

Business administrator said she will try to obtain a filing extension for those affected.

The deadline for prospective candidates in the June primary election is Monday at 4 p.m. Some people wishing to run may miss that deadline—and it may not be their fault.

Several people went to Town Hall early in order to file the required petition signatures they needed to run for seats on the Parsippany Republican Committee but were turned away.

The issue: A clerk's office staffer told them that they needed 10 petition signatures in order to qualify.

The problem is that, according to Morris County Clerk Joan Bramhall, the town employee had it wrong.

"It's five for Republicans and one for Democrats," Bramhall confirmed to Patch.

The number of petition signatures needed to run for office is based upon the number of party votes in the most recent election.

Cara Fox, an employee in the clerk's office said a co-worker made the mistake honestly.

"Even the freeholder, Ann Grossi, was told 10 [signatures were needed]," she said.

Fox said she was made aware of the mix-up and that some people had been sent away in error through a phone call from the county clerk's office. 

Not helping the situation is that the Parsippany clerk's office currently is without leadership. Last week, Business Administrator Jasmine Lim confirmed that Municipal Clerk Elesha Johnson was "no longer employed by the township."

The most senior staffer now is Acting Deputy Clerk Mary Cilurso, who works in the office three days a week. Monday, including the April 2 primary election deadline date, is one of her days off.

Lim said that the clerk's staff was told incorrectly that 10 petition signatures was the minimum via a phone call last week with a county clerk's office employee.

The administrator said she is looking into the possibility of getting an extension for those who missed the filing deadline because of the clerk's office's mistake.

Hank Heller April 02, 2012 at 10:28 PM
Another Parsippany political disgrace! The solution to the problem caused by someone in the Parsippany political heirarchy is just totally wrong. If the time to file petitions for candadacy is extended to all people, then those who filed on time will be injured and those who did not file at all will be given a second chance. Not at all fair nor appropriate. If the time to file is extended for only those who were turned away, that might be fair, but I am not an voting rights attorney, and don't know for sure. Additionally, It is important to identify where the incorrect instructions originated. Blaming the clerk is not right. Who was the person who told Ann Grossi that "ten signatures were required"? That is very important information for the public to know. This "game playing' in Parsippany has to stop now. This smells of another Lyons/Nordstrom situation, only closer to home this time. Hank Heller


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