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Greene County Republicans to continue ballot harvesting

Oct 15, 2021 2:33 pm

Sam Raudins reports for Columbia-Greene Media that Catskill's Democratic Committee Chairperson Margaret Tomlinson wants more scrutiny of the “ballot harvesting” in July’s special village election and this fall's coming vote. Tomlinson alleges that in the July 6 village special election, "then-Republican candidate Jeff Holliday and representatives of the Town of Catskill Republican Club collected, stored, and hand-delivered absentee ballots to the Board of Elections," the story says. Greene County Republican Committee chairperson Brent Bogardus says Tomlinson's allegations are nothing more than “a blatant attempt to create an issue.” Ballot harvesting is legal in the state of New York, while in North Carolina returning a ballot on behalf of another person is a felony. “The Republican candidate for the trustee office personally ‘handled’ one in five ballots cast in the entire race. Some applications were applied for weeks prior to the ballot being picked up and delivered and 147 of those ballots were delivered to the BOE only two and a half hours before the polls closed on July 6,” Tomlinson wrote in a letter to Bogardus and Democratic Election Commissioner Marie Metzler. In the special election Republican Jeff Holliday trailed Democrat Michelle Williams 315-252 in same-day voting, but Holliday beat Williams 199-to-54 among absentee votes. Typically in elections during the pandemic Democrats have had higher absentee ballot totals. Republicans across the country have recently criticized ballot harvesting. “This is apparently not the case in Catskill,” Tomlinson said. Greene County Democratic Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Riggs said, "The Catskill Democratic Committee has merely pointed out that in past elections the tactics of ballot harvesting while not illegal in this state, is a highly questionable practice, especially when a candidate on the ballot is doing it,.” But Bogardus said the Board of elections will continue ballot harvesting. “We’re going to do what we have always done,” Bogardus said. Read more about this story at HudsonValley360.com.

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