Today, at 2:15 p.m., John Ciampoli, attorney for the Kelsey campaign, announced that he had been directed to stop scrutinizing absentee ballots before they were opened and counted. At that point, 813 absentee ballots had already been considered, and 192 had been set aside, principally because of objections from Ciampoli on the basis of "qualifications." He regularly questioned voters' qualifications to vote in Columbia County because absentee ballots had been sent to an address in New York City or New Jersey or because there was some reason to believe that an address in Columbia County was that of a second home. By this afternoon, it had become clear that, even after all the absentee ballots cast by second home owners (who are typically also registered Democrats) had been set aside, Didi Barrett's lead over Mike Kelsey was steadily increasing, and, with only the absentee ballots from one district in Greenport and all of Hudson and Livingston left to be counted, it was not possible for Kelsey to close the gap.
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Why were votes believed to come from "second" homes being set aside? New York law is absolutely clear that one may register and vote from a "second" home, provided it is a genuine residence of the voter. Someone at the Board of Elections has some explaining to do.ReplyDelete
@LDouble--The Board of Elections doesn't have any explaining to do. They registered the voters. The Republican Party is still trying to get the ruling overturned that allows people who maintain multiple residents to choose from which home they wish to register and vote. Back in 2008-2009, 22 absentee ballots from Taghkanic were set aside and not counted until many weeks after the election when the Third Department Appellate Court ruled that they could be, but it seems the Republican Party is not content with that decision.Delete
There's not simply a "ruling" that second home owners may vote at their second residences; it's settled New York law (see Ferguson v. McNab, Willkie v. Board of Elections, and a number of other cases cited at www.Countryvote.org). It's very important that people understand that registering from a real second home isn't some "gray" area of the law; it's perfectly legal. If the Kelsey campaign was claiming that these voters did not have any residence status at their listed residences, that's another matter, but the mere fact that these residences are "second" residences is not relevant. Republican "discontent" with the law doesn't change what the law is, and it is outrageous if they attempt to use the vote counting process to disenfranchise legal voters, as they appear to have done in election after election.ReplyDelete
Second or third or fourth or fifth homeowners in Columbia County are entitled under NY law to register to vote in the County. One can't register in two places simultaneously.ReplyDelete
This issue has been litigated. Not all second or third or fourth or fifth or sixth homeowners are penthouse lefties from NYC. Give me a break.