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August 14, 2013

Candidates for town offices lose petition challenges

ELIZABETHTOWN — Challenges to designating petitions in Essex County have forced two candidates off party lines in this year’s elections.

A third challenge was rejected by the Essex County Board of Elections, leaving Fred Balzac still running as a Green Party candidate for Jay Town Council.

In the two that were sustained, the Board of Elections invalidated Democratic Party petitions filed for John Thompson to run for Willsboro Town Council and Green Party petitions submitted by Rosamond Lincoln-Day for Jay town justice.

Thompson’s petitions were declared invalid because of notarization and witness errors, officials said, and Lincoln-Day’s because the witness did not fill in the line for number of signatures collected.

ONE WAS ENOUGH

In Balzac’s case, the objection was that one petition did not list the number of signatures — that one was upheld, invalidating four names. But he still had one valid signature, which was enough to qualify for Green Party candidacy in Jay.

The Green Party challenges were filed by Republican Party member Harold Akey, while the Democratic petition challenge came from Willsboro Republican Committee Chair Win Belanger.

Essex County Republican Party Chair Ronald Jackson said the County Committee wasn’t connected to or directing the challenges, which came from individual party members.

“It’s a decision you personally have to make whether you want to challenge or not.”

NO INCUMBENTS 

Belanger said before he files a challenge, he consults with Republican candidates for the post to make sure they agree.

“It is not about the person, but only if the New York State Board of Elections guidelines and procedures are followed. The main reason for filing designating petitions with a required number of signatures is to show that enough voters in your particular party want you to run against another individual in an opposing party.”

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