copyright the Chronicle August 23, 2017
by Tena Starr
VICTORY — In a town the size of Victory, whose population is about the size of a big extended family, a small number of votes can make a very big difference in a local election. In fact, former Victory Town Clerk Tracey Martel claims four votes in particular, which she alleges were illegal, contributed to her defeat as town clerk and treasurer at Town Meeting in March.
She also claims that others who might have voted for her were prevented from voting. Her opponent, current and incumbent Town Clerk Carol Easter, actively kept people from voting by failing to mail absentee ballots on a timely basis and challenging some people’s residency, Ms. Martel charges.
She has sued the town, Ms. Easter, the Victory Board of Civil Authority, and a host of others — 18 people or entities in all — including Robert and Toni Flanigan and their two adult sons, who she says are residents of Connecticut, not Victory, and should not have been allowed to vote in the March Town Meeting election for local office.
The lawsuit is the latest, or near latest, in Victory where conducting town business can be so fractious that law enforcement attends select board meetings. Essex County Sheriff Trevor Colby said the town has contracted with his Sheriff’s Department to provide security at all select board meetings.
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