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A Petition Challenge Update

Additional General Objections filed against Team New Castle petitions

We talked to so many people at Town events this weekend, and with more than a few, the conversation led to local elections.  We were asked too many times, “What’s going on with the objections to Team New Castle petitions?” So we’re posting an update to our first post on Tue (5/28) which followed the Fri (5/24) filing of General Objections.

On Tue (5/28) Team New Castle filed additional signatures; this was the final day to file for a local, New Castle based Independent Line on the Fall ballot.  When filing those additional signatures with the Board of Elections in White Plains Jim Smith ran into two of our opponents, Ivy Pool and Jeremy Saland, reviewing our petitions.  As we have said and they have said, it is their legal right to do this; but we are not alone in our disappointment that this is what we do, in a small town, amongst fellow community members that know each other.  

On Fri (5/31) a 2nd General Objection was filed with the BOE to include the additional signatures we filed on Tue (5/28).  

Here are some answers to questions asked over the weekend:

(1) Do you need additional signatures? No, the deadline has passed.  But for those who have reached out after the deadline—thank you: we didn’t get to collect your signature, but we hope to earn your vote in November.

(2) How many lines are on the November ballot and who is on them?  Ivy Pool, Jason Lichtenthal and Jeremy Saland have announced they will be on three statewide party lines: the Democratic Party line, Working Families Party Line, and the Independence Party line.  The Working Families line required 1 signature to be on the ballot and the Independence Line required 15.  Jim Smith, Lauren Levin, and Sean Maraynes are on the Republican Line but are seeking to create a new Local Independent Line called “Team New Castle.” This line required 418 signatures and we collected more than 600; collecting excess signatures is common because it is not unusual for some errors to be made during this good faith process. This line would be the only Local line on the ballot.

(3) Why are you seeking a Team New Castle line on the ballot?  It is important to us and many residents. We have been working to create a local Independent Line on the ballot because: (A) Neither major party speaks for us or to the local issues that face our Town. Spend some time with us and many residents in Town and you’ll appreciate the power of the idea that we are neighbors first, party politicians never; and (B) a Team New Castle line will help us level the playing field so we can move beyond the party labels and political drama to earn your vote based on who we are, where we stand on local issues, and whether you believe we will best represent you and all the residents of New Castle.  Given both of these reasons, and regardless of having any other place on the ballot, we certainly see a challenge to the Team New Castle petitions as a ballot access matter.

(4) What happens next? The four objectors have some number of days to support their General Objection with formal, specific objections. The Board of Elections would then make a determination.  That determination can be challenged. 

(5) Will any filings be available to the public? Any specific objection, if filed, along with the actual petitions will be available.  We believe a public challenge of individual voter signatures does not create a positive environment for future contested elections or for voter participation in the signature process.

(6) Can you challenge your opponent’s petitions? No, we let the deadline pass; we do not believe it would have been the right thing to do for our Town.  

Lastly, we want to thank the more than 600 voters who took the time to sign our petitions and the countless others who stopped to listen, especially those at the train station who were just trying to get on with their morning routine but were greeted by Team New Castle candidates and petition carriers on more mornings that we care to count.  Any innuendo to suggest that this effort, day after day out in the community, was anything other than a good faith effort by candidates, voters and volunteers is wrong.

#LetsFixThis and move on to talking about the issues.