State Supreme Court Judge Scott DelConte dismissed a lawsuit by Republicans against the Schenectady County Board of Elections and 18 Democrats aiming to keep the Democrats off the Working Families Party line.
The lawsuit, filed by six Republicans who are candidates for town board and county legislator seats, alleged that the Working Families Party’s paperwork authorizing Democratic candidates to appear on the ballot is invalid because it was electronically submitted to the Schenectady County Board of Elections and contains digitally copied signatures. The plaintiffs in this lawsuit were John Mertz, Megan Griffin, Anna Maria Guida, Charles Dodson, Joseph Mastrionni and Mollie Collins.
In a news statement, Democratic candidates in Niskayuna applauded the decision and called the suit “meritless.”
“This was the right decision, and will ensure that voters across New York will have a full array of choices in this year’s election”, said Jaime Lynn Puccioni, a candidate for town supervisor. “As a voter, and particularly as a woman of color, I was disgusted to see the Republican Party continue down the road of voter suppression, conspiracy, and MAGA tactics, rather than engaging in a fair campaign about actual issues for the voters of our community.”
Lawsuits were filed by Republicans in counties across the state. The case in Saratoga County had already been dismissed by Supreme Court Justice Dianne Freestone. The case in Schenectady County by Rotterdam Republicans was part of a broad effort by Republicans in about a dozen counties statewide filed in Oswego county and consolidated into one case. The Schenectady County Republican party did not file a suit.
Electronic submission of documents with digitally copied and notarized signatures was allowed by New York as a COVID-19 safety measure, the judges found.
“Justice DelConte saw this case for what it was: a frivolous lawsuit which sought to intimidate the WFP’s candidates and deprive its voters of their choice at the ballot box,” said Niskayuna Councilman John Della Ratta, a longtime lawyer. “While I completely expect the Republicans to further pursue this meritless case, I have no doubt that the Court of Appeals will reach the same conclusion as Justice DelConte.”