CAPITAL REGION – Two Republican state Senate candidates have asked state Supreme Court judges to have all paper ballots preserved on an emergency basis, in anticipation of final election results not being known on Tuesday night and a future recount.
Richard Amedure, the Republican candidate in the 46th State Senate District, and state Sen. Daphne Jordan, who is seeking re-election in the 43rd State Senate District, filed petitions seeking an order that the county Boards of Elections in their districts preserve all paper ballots from Tuesday’s voting, the nine-day early voting period, and absentee ballots.
With the COVID-19 pandemic having led to an unprecedented number of voters sending back their ballots by mail and new procedures being used to review voter signatures for authenticity, election boards “may/will make errors in their determination as to cures and the authenticity of signatures,” the lawsuit states. “Such matters are properly before this Court for review.”
The preservation of the ballots would guarantee an accurate recount if the results are disputed, argues the lawsuit, brought on behalf of both candidates by attorney John J. Ciampoli of Sayville, Nassau County.
Impoundment orders, in which the county sheriff’s office typically takes custody of the ballot, are quite routine in close or potentially contested elections.
According to the lawsuit, the electronic voting machines used in New York polling places “have been marked by machine failures in the polling places, the compromise of voters’ rights to cast a secret ballot, confusion and disenfranchisement of voters and the mishandling of ballots.”
The lawsuit also asks the court to adjoin the local boards of election from certifying any candidate other than Amedure and Jordan the winner in their respective races.
The Jordan lawsuit names the state Board of Elections and county boards in Columbia, Rensselaer, Saratoga and Washington counties, as well as Democratic candidate Patrick Nelson. The Amedure lawsuit names the state board, the county boards in Albany, Greene, Montgomery, Schenectady and Ulster counties, as well as Democratic candidate Michelle Hinchey and Green party candidate Robert D. Alft.