HEMPSTEAD - Hempstead parents and educators held a rally Thursday after the state ordered a new election for a school board seat.

The news comes as a county investigation looks into accusations of voter fraud and intimidation in last May's election.

Maribel Toure, a former school board candidate, lost by just a handful of votes to longtime board president Betty Cross in May.

Toure filed a petition with the state, accusing Cross and her supporters of fraud, coercion and abuse of the absentee balloting process.

In a ruling announced Thursday, State Education Commissioner John King said his investigation found "irregularities" in the absentee balloting in that election. King ordered the May results annulled and called for a special election to fill the vacancy.

Toure and her supporters say the state's decision is unfair because Cross is allowed to run for the seat again. They say they are hoping Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice will complete her investigation in the matter soon and file criminal charges.

News 12 called Rice's office for comment but has not heard back.

Commissioner King says the special election must be held within the next 45 days.