Clarkstown residents voted last Tuesday in the primary election in person and by absentee ballot. Some of those absentee ballots are now being challenged in Supreme Court Rockland County.
Democratic Clarkstown Highway Superintendent candidate Dennis Malone filed petitions in court on Friday that raised questions about irregularities with absentee ballots coming from Clarkstown members of the Working Families Party.
A court hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Tuesday before Judge Gerald Loehr, the same judge who heard challenges to petitions of candidates seeking to get on the primary ballot for county executive. Because subpoenas were being served throughout Monday, limited information about the legal action was available and about who was being served. Democratic Board of Elections Commissioner Kristen Stavisky confirmed Monday night she and Republican Elections Commissioner Lou Babcock had been served with subpoenas.
Malone’s attorney Alan M.Goldston of Westchester said the proceeding is focused specifically on the Working Families Party and the large numbers of absentee ballots requested by voters and received by the Board of Elections.
The unofficial vote count for highway superintendent for the Working Families Party has Malone receiving 45 votes and the write-in candidate line getting 29 votes for a total of 74. Goldston said more than 140 absentee ballots were requested for the primary from Working Families Party members. Stavisky said in excess of 125 absentee ballots had been received at the Board of Elections.
“At a minimum there’s more absentee ballots than the ballots already counted,” said Goldston.
Stavisky acknowledged the number of absentee ballots was high.
“I think it’s unusual,” she said. “You don’t expect the number of absentees to exceed the number cast in the primary or general election.”
Stavisky said the board of elections is required to provide various materials related to the Working Families Party including voter registration signature cards, the absentee ballot application, the actual absentee ballots and any postmarked envelopes they arrived in.