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Faso says Columbia County messed up primary election ballots

Jun 29, 2016 12:05 am
Michaela Kilgallen in Capitol Confidential reports that the Columbia County Board of Elections was criticized on Election Day by candidate John Faso, who said, “The board of elections here in Columbia County mistakenly printed the ballot with three names on it rather than just two names.” Faso is facing Andrew Heaney for the Republican slot after Bob Bishop dropped out of the election earlier in the spring. “So because of that, the machine would not read the ballot because it mistakenly has that third name on it.” Later in the day, the Faso campaign said it had been told by the state Board of Elections that replacement ballots were being supplied to all polling places in Columbia County and should be distributed by no later than 4 p.m. Votes cast on the ballots featuring all three candidates will be taken to the Columbia County Board of Elections in Hudson for hand counting after polls close at 9 p.m., according to the Faso camp. The Columbia County Board of Elections eventually released this statement: "It was discovered today that the ballots issued in the Republican primary for the 19th CD were erroneously issued with Bob Bishop's name as a choice to select. Mr. Bishop is no longer a candidate in this race. The board immediately issued new correct ballots which began being disseminated to poll sites by 2 p.m. All poll sites have the correct ballot. It's important to note that the voting machines were properly programmed and tested using the correct ballot, and are accepting the correct ballot without issue. Approximately 800, an average of 15-20 ballots per election district (there are 51 districts), of the incorrect ballots were voted. These ballots were properly placed in the emergency ballot receptacle, and they will be unofficially canvassed at the poll sites tonight per election law. A very few ballots were scanned in the machine. All ballots will be hand counted beginning Thursday according to the board's previously announced schedule, and in accordance with its usual procedure. All procedures have been and will continue to be conducted in a bipartisan manner. The board will be posting unofficial results tonight." Read the full story in Capitol Confidential, a Times-Union blog.
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