Bear Witness: Gigi Li Accused of Election Fraud in Campaign for District Leader
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Standoff – Jenifer Rajkumar vs. Gigi Li
If you invest tiresome hours in Community Board meetings each month, one of the most important lessons learned is the proper collection of petition signatures. There is always an opportunity for fudged numbers or fake names, and some liquor license applicants take advantage.
Therefore, it’s quite ironic to see that Chair Gigi Li is following suit with regard to her forthcoming campaign for Female Assembly District Leader from Part C of the 65th Assembly District (primary election September 10). Indeed, we received word that her petition signatures of support are being challenged before the Board and Elections and the New York State Supreme Court. It’s a case of improper collection and witnessing. Forgery would be another word for it.
The legal scrutiny – brought forth by two “petitioners” – alleges shady practices to collect signatures. For instance, purportedly deploying minors and unregistered youths (including high school students) to the field without proper supervision, then having the absentee “subscribing witnesses” validate the signatures ipso-facto. By engaging in this illicit behavior as the challenge suggests, the Gigi Li campaign converted potential illegitimate signatures into proper ones counted towards the 500 total required to qualify for the Part C ballot.
It goes to the top…
Court documents further highlight a paper trail leading directly to Councilmember Margaret Chin’s office (among others), with Chief of Staff Yume Kitasei allegedly partaking. “Upon information and belief, based on photographs, and other information as well as an analysis of her sheets, [Kitasei] did not actually witness all of the signatories sign the sheets that she signed as the subscribing witness,” the public record states. “In fact, young males and females were the persons who actually collected many of the sheets,” which numbered twenty-one pages. Some are quick to posit that Chin’s involvement is a straight-up grudge match against incumbent District Leader Jenifer Rajkumar, who mustered 42% of the vote when she ran against Chin in the 2013 City Council election.
Moreover, seven other false witnesses were listed as not actually observing the gathering of signatures, but approving nonetheless.
(There are twenty-seven bullet-points outlining why Gigi Li shouldn’t legally appear on the ballot. The full filing is republished below.)
The Board of Elections will hold a hearing early next week to officially make a determination on the matter. If the challenge is upheld, Gigi Li’s flirtation with District Leader would likely be finished. In fact, her future political career could be jeopardized. Whatever the outcome, though, it’s the same old story. The controversies that shadowed Li around CB3 the last few years were a prelude.
Gigi Li is battling incumbent Jenifer Rajkumar for the Democratic District Leader position.