Laplante Prevails in Election Challenge Against Opponent
Lawrence, MA – In a hearing before the Lawrence Board of Registrars today, City Council President and candidate for re-election in District F, Marc Laplante, prevailed in his challenge of Germinudy Rosario campaign’s nomination papers. The Board of Registrars determined that the Rosario campaign failed to notarize its nomination papers as required by law, and therefore Rosario did not qualify for the September 16, 2023 ballot.
“While it is troubling that the Rosario campaign did not follow the city’s law on notarizing its nomination papers, what was more troubling to me was the widespread forging of voters’ names,” said Laplante. “Regardless of the failure to notarize, I am confident that the Rosario campaign would not have achieved the 50 certified signatures required to qualify for the preliminary ballot because of the unlawful signing of names and other ‘irregularities.’”
The following is Laplante’s full statement.
“After reviewing the nomination papers, it was apparent that there were irregularities that question the signatures’ validity. It appears that the lawful process has been compromised by the Rosario campaign and if left unchallenged would have undermined the underpinnings of this year’s city council election in District F. It is not hyperbole to state that the war fought to gain this country’s independence and the wars since fought to maintain our nation’s democracy has allowed our government, at all levels, to hold fair and free elections – including Lawrence. What was particularly offensive was the forging of an 81-year-old veteran’s signature, who served in the Marine Corps and was involved in classified operations during the Vietnam War. Digging a little further, it was discovered that his circumstance was the norm rather than the exception. I visited the homes of the listed “signers” during the past three days and have notarized documentation for 20 forged signatures. In addition, the Rosario campaign submitted signatures with misspelled names, wrong addresses, many other signatures that do not match the voter registration list and failed to provide a required notarized nomination sheet.
Only 50 certified signatures are required to place a candidate on the ballot for district city councilor in Lawrence. This is a very low threshold that can be accomplished easily in one or two days. It is unfathomable to me that the Rosario campaign would resort to forged signatures to get on the ballot, especially when they had four months to accomplish the task. Competition is good. It brings out the best in me and makes me a better public servant. I welcome the opportunity every two years to talk with voters, listen to them, and ask for their vote. However, the playing field should be even, and our rules and laws should be followed.”
With today’s Board of Registrars’ decision, Laplante will now face Eufemia DeLa Cruz in the November 4 election.