By Tracy Dingmann
Precinct judge Debbie Hunter says she’s writing up an affidavit for a formal complaint to file with the Secretary of State’s office over a man who stood outside the Manzano High School polling place questioning voters on Election Day.
A number of voters at the District 21 polling place complained that the man, who wore a shirt bearing the name of District 21 Republican candidate Antoinette Baca, had harassed and intimidated them as they arrived to vote throughout the day.
Baca is running against longtime Democratic incumbent Mimi Stewart.
Hunter and other precinct judges said the man identified himself as Howard De La Cruz Bancroft. Bancroft, a Republican, ran unsuccessfully against Stewart in 2008.
“Turns out he was her former opponent, and he was out here to sabotage her today,” Hunter said.
Hunter said many voters complained to her poll workers that Bancroft questioned and pursued them in a threatening manner as they entered the school to vote. We wrote about the incidents earlier today.
Hunter said Bancroft yelled at her earlier in the day when she took down Baca campaign signs he had put up inside the 100-foot “no campaigning” zone around all polling places.
Bancroft arrived at the polling place at 6 a.m., Hunter said. Later in the day, Bancroft was joined by other people, also wearing Baca shirts, who questioned voters along with him.
Bancroft was still there at 6 p.m., standing outside the polling place questioning voters just outside the 100-foot perimeter.
Throughout the day, officers from APS Police, APD, Bernalillo County Sheriff Department and investigators from the state Attorney General’s office all responded to the scene, but did not remove the man.
“They told us to stay inside and not confront him. He was very agitated,” said Hunter, a Republican.
“It’s embarrassing, as a Republican, to have him associated with the Republican Party.”