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October 24, 2013

Hike in absentee ballots concerns Republicans

(Continued)

All the applications that have gone out so far this election season are for registered voters in the county, the commissioners said.

The potential infraction could occur if voters check the box saying they will not be in the county on Election Day but actually are, the commissioners said.

It would be up to the candidates to prove whether a person was actually in town that day.

CHALLENGE WARNING 

This irks Mark Dame, the Republican candidate for the Area 8 seat on the Clinton County Legislature, which includes parts of Wards 1 and 2. Dame said that once the ballots are sent in, it is a lengthy and expensive proposition to have them challenged.

He believes there is a concerted effort by the Working Families and Democratic parties to take advantage of some voters and tilt the election.

“They’ve targeted income-eligible-housing voters and college students who may be confused and probably coerced them into signing these applications and maybe breaking the law,” Dame said.

“There will be legal action taken if these ballots are allowed to go through,” he said.

POLICE CONTACTED

Republicans filed a complaint with Plattsburgh City Police. Lt. Patrick Rascoe said the department conducted a preliminary investigation but deferred the matter to the county and state Boards of Elections.

Rascoe said that if a voter did knowingly falsely fill out an absentee-ballot application, it is a felony.

Joe Gittens, the City of Plattsburgh Democratic Party chairman, said that as far as he knew the efforts to deliver absentee ballots was legitimate.

“I think we are giving them (Republicans) a run for their money, and they have to find something to gripe about,” he said.

As for the college students in Wilson Hall indicating that they will be out of town on Election Day, Gittens suggested that they might be leaving early for Thanksgiving break.

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