Richmond Crusade Wants Chesterfield Registrar Removed 

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The Richmond Crusade for Voters wants the Virginia State Board of Elections to remove Chesterfield Registrar Larry Haake and the county's three-member electoral board from office.

The resolution, passed at the group's April 15 meeting, was sponsored by Michael Brown, Mayor L. Douglas Wilder's nephew and a former chair of the Virginia State Board of Elections.

Brown said he was distressed that on Feb. 12, the day of the presidential primary in Virginia, Haake did not provide enough Democratic ballots to nine of the county's precincts, did not supply enough workers to prevent hour-long waits at some polling places and, instead of ballots, distributed torn paper slips, which were not counted.

After catching criticism for the debacle, Haake had another mix-up during a March 6 interview with WRVA radio when he referred to King Salim Khalfani, executive director of the Virginia State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, as "King Salami."

Haake argues that he has a tricky and often-mispronounced name himself.

"I thought that 'King' was his title and 'Salami' was his name," Haake says. "I have since found out that neither is true," adding that he has no intention of stepping down.

When informed of the crusade's official request to the State Board of Elections, Khalfani said he was pleased.

"The Chesterfield NAACP dropped the ball; I'm proud that the Crusade did that," he says.

Valarie Jones, deputy secretary for the State Board of Elections, says her agency will report on Chesterfield's handling of the primary at its public meeting at 10 a.m. April 25 at the General Assembly Building in House Room C.

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