Supreme Court Judge Gerald Loehr ruled the petitions
submitted by Preserve Rockland for the county executive and Clarkstown town
supervisor, councilmember and highway superintendent races are valid. His
decision issued on Wednesday over-ruled the county Board of Elections’
invalidation of Preserve Rockland petitions for the town wide slate because of
page numbering errors.
Pete Bradley, one of the organizers of Preserve Rockland, said he was pleased Judge Loehr determined the page numbering errors were not fatal errors and that the petitions substantially complied with Board of Elections rules.
“I feel fabulous that 2,762 petitioners are being heard after being disenfranchised by the Board of Elections,” he said on Thursday.
Preserve Rockland’s Clarkstown candidates are: Brian Moran of New City for supervisor, John Noto of New City for council and Dennis Malone of Congers for highway superintendent. Noto is also running on the Republican line and Malone has the Democratic line on the Nov. 5 ballot.
The challenge to Preserve Rockland’s petitions to place Ed Day’s name on the ballot were based on the absence of one word. The objection was that the word “presently” was not included in the petitions. They read, “I reside at,” instead of “I presently reside at.” Now, Day is running as the candidate of both the Republican and Preserve Rockland parties.
“It was an insane objection,” said Bradley.
The county’s board of elections commissioners said Preserve Rockland’s Clarkstown petitions’ numbering mistakes were fatal errors but Judge Loehr declared they were curable errors. Preserve Rockland’s attorney Tom Humbach said it was an error of form not substance and that the board of elections should have notified Preserve Rockland within two days to correct it instead of invalidating the petitions.
Democratic Elections Commissioner Kristen Stavisky said on Thursday some of the state election rules are difficult to follow and she and fellow commissioner Lou Babcock were adhering to state guidelines.
“We just wanted clarification,” she said, adding if there is a numbering issue in the future they will treat it as correctable issue.
As of Thursday, both petitions were listed as valid on the Board of Elections website.