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Posted: 8/15/2005 7:06:14 PM EDT
www.wgrz.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=30528

County Election Officials Headed To Court

Posted by: Aaron Saykin, Reporter
Created: 8/7/2005 5:29:15 PM
Updated: 8/8/2005 4:46:15 AM

Erie county election officials will go to court Monday to restore jobs in their department and prevent what they predict could become a "compromised election."

In all likelihood, local troops serving overseas will not even be able to vote by absentee ballot in the September 13th primary. According to election officials, by law the ballots must be sent out this week. Because the board of elections is so short-staffed, officials say they have not yet been able to determine which candidates belong on the ballot.

That's one of several problems, according to Republican Commissioner Ralph Mohr, if funding is not immediately restored to the board of elections.

"It's a very serious situation," Mohr said.

Without enough staff to review all petitions, Mohr says candidates with bad signatures may end up on the ballot. Also, there aren't workers to set up voting machines. Some districts will get paper ballots.

Monday morning, election officials will ask a judge to force the county to restore funding.
But even if the judge goes along, Mohr says it would still be tough to fix of all the problems before the primary, meaning the validity of that election could be challenged.

"There's a joke at the board of elections that we've never missed an election yet," Mohr said. "I think this year might be one case in which it's going to be very doubtful."

Earlier this year, county legislators cut the board of elections funding nearly in half. They recently refused to restore some of it, fearful it would create more patronage jobs.

"That doesn't mean they're bad," Erie County Democratic Party Chairman Len Lenihan said Sunday morning while appearing WBEN's Hardline.

Patronage or not, the workers are needed, Lenihan said.

Reporter: "In this business jobs are power. How much of this is about having control and being able to put people back at the board of elections?"
Lenihan: "It's not a matter of Democrats getting more or the Republicans getting less or vice versa. It's the one are of county government where everyone gets the same because, by law, it's mandated… You've got to stand up and out the people to work who belong there to do the vital services."

Hardline host and political analyst Kevin Hardwick said the public needs to have confidence in election results.

"You're electing a county legislature that's going to be there for the next two years, which are going to be critical years for Erie County," Hardwick said. "You're going to want everything to go just so in this one."



The other day, last night maybe, on the news they said the board of elections did not get the ballots sent by the deadline
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 3:57:41 AM EDT
wivb.com/Global/story.asp?s=3718071

Budget Problems May Put This Year's Primary Elections in Jeopardy
Aug 13, 2005, 09:20 AM

(Erie County, NY, August 13, 2005) - - Erie County's budget problems may have put this year's primary elections in jeopardy. As Senior Correspondent Rich Newberg reports, this comes as one mayoral candidate promises to fight back after being kicked off the ballott.

The Board of Elections spent about a week reviewing Darnell Jackson's petitions based on a challenge, and found they were short 257 valid signatures.

Jackson says he will prove them wrong.

The Board of Elections Staff has been bogged down with petition challenges and has fallen more than a week behind in preparing for the September primary.

Rich Newberg: "The Board of Elections lost about half its staff during the budget cuts and now there is a serious concern that the primary may be compromised."

The Board has now missed the deadline for sending out absentee ballots to the military, many voting machines may not be prepped in time for the primary, and half the districts may have to vote with paper ballots.

The County Executive says deal with existing resources.

Link Posted: 8/19/2005 4:00:52 AM EDT
Bet the leftists who cry about voters being "disenfranchised" will remain very silent about this case.
Link Posted: 8/20/2005 3:17:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Charging_Handle:
Bet the leftists who cry about voters being "disenfranchised" will remain very silent about this case.



of course they will
what really sucks is that this primary is the first in ages where there are a lot of people pissed off at the incumbants so there are a lot of people running in the primary with some real choice for once instead of the same old party endorsed losers, yet the soldiers aren't going to get a chance to vote
Link Posted: 8/20/2005 3:28:54 PM EDT
Reminds me of all the military ballots they tried to throw it in Florida during the 2000 election because even though they were postmarked on time, the USPS delivered them late.
Link Posted: 8/20/2005 3:41:27 PM EDT

Originally Posted By sharky30:

Originally Posted By Charging_Handle:
Bet the leftists who cry about voters being "disenfranchised" will remain very silent about this case.



of course they will
what really sucks is that this primary is the first in ages where there are a lot of people pissed off at the incumbants so there are a lot of people running in the primary with some real choice for once instead of the same old party endorsed losers, yet the soldiers aren't going to get a chance to vote




Earlier this year, county legislators cut the board of elections funding nearly in half. They recently refused to restore some of it, fearful it would create more patronage jobs.


Hmmm... I wonder what letter is next to the majority of legislators that cut off funding? An "R" or a "D"?

Link Posted: 8/20/2005 3:52:36 PM EDT
I think the legislature has a slight D majority
the patronage issue was huge in Erie County with both sides being guilty of it and there was a lot of public outrage. lots of unqualified friends and relatives of elected officials had jobs paying a lot of money
but if the legislators here were competent they could have restored jobs with some oversight to make sure qualified people got them
but they've been too busy yapping their mouths and not actually doing anything
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