WELCOME GUEST  |  LOG IN
East Quogue, Corcoran, Real Estate, Hamptons
27east.com

Story - News

Oct 25, 2018 11:39 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Absentee Ballots Are At Center Of Storm Of Accusations

Lee Zeldin and Perry Gershon
Oct 30, 2018 2:28 PM

With huge numbers of voters requesting absentee ballots for the November 6 election, a tornado of drama and accusations of misdeeds have swirled around mail-in voting, particularly in the race for the 1st District seat in the House of Representatives.

Democratic candidate Perry Gershon has called for an official investigation of incumbent U.S. Representative Lee Zeldin’s reelection campaign over a mailer sent to thousands of Suffolk County voters that had the wrong deadline for mailing in absentee ballots—for the second straight election cycle.

Mr. Zeldin’s camp also seized on complaints by some Smithtown voters who said they received the wrong absentee ballot in the mail, one that didn’t include the 1st District candidates, and accused the Suffolk County Board of Elections itself of trying to suppress Republican votes.

Smithtown is split between the 1st Congressional District, in the eastern portion of the town, and the 3rd Congressional District in the west.

“I was notified today by multiple 1st Congressional District Republicans in Smithtown that they just received absentee ballots from the Suffolk County Board of Elections with the NY-3 congressional ballot instead of NY-1,” Mr. Zeldin said in a statement released by his campaign late on Tuesday, October 23. “There needs to be an immediate investigation into who is responsible for this Republican voter suppression targeting the most highly saturated concentration of Republican voters in the 1st Congressional District.”

Republican election officials said the issue was most likely a matter of simple human error in just a few instances out of the more than 28,000 absentee ballots that have already been sent out to county voters.

“There are 25 different combinations of ballots for congressional, Senate and Assembly districts, and it’s not unreasonable to think when sending out 28,000 of them, each with a specific combination of CD, SD and AD, that a couple of them will get sent the wrong ballot,” Suffolk County Elections Commissioner Nicholas J. LaLota, the Republican commissioner, said on Wednesday, October 24.

He said he was aware of only one voter who had received the wrong ballot, but that the agency was working to determine if there are others. “We have three people on the phones right now calling Smithtown residents who were sent absentee ballots who live near this individual to see if they got the wrong ballot also,” he said. “If they did, they will get the right ballot sent to them immediately.”

Mr. LaLota said that the 25 combinations of ballots are kept in separate bins in a locked cabinet at the Board of Elections headquarters in Yaphank, and that the cabinet can be opened only by a bipartisan team of election officials. Individual ballot envelopes are stuffed by hand, and with so many ballots to be sent out, not all of them are double-checked for accuracy.

Mr. LaLota said that with 12 days left before Election Day, the county was on pace to receive 40,000 absentee ballot requests—an enormous number for a midterm, on par with the number issued in the 2016 presidential election cycle.

And the deluge of requests has been crammed into a shorter window thanks to a legal battle over the county Conservative Party’s line in one of the races for a New York State Supreme Court judge’s seat. Instead of six weeks between when all the lines on the ballot were settled and Election Day, Mr. LaLota said, election officials were left with less than four weeks this year.

That is why he, on Monday, October 22, instructed Board of Elections staff to stop processing absentee ballots at the agency’s headquarters—which caused another kerfuffle when critics said doing so would suppress voter turnout.

“While we would like to take on discretionary tasks that voters would like us to do but don’t absolutely have to be done, we can’t do that if it’s going to put us behind on things we do absolutely have to do,” Mr. LaLota said, noting that the agency’s staff was already working 12-hour days, six days a week, to prepare voting machines, polling places and ballots for the November 6 vote. “An employee can process 20 mail-in absentee ballots per hour, but only four or five walk-ins per hour.”

Last week, election officials said they had agreed to hire four part-time workers who would be dedicated only to processing the huge number of absentee ballots expected this year at the Board of Elections headquarters.

“Rather than fight about it, we just resolved it,” Democratic Elections Commissioner Anita Katz said. “So if people want to just bring their absentee ballot in, we’ll have four extra people here dedicated to getting their ballots processed.”

Earlier last week, Mr. Gershon’s camp leveled accusations that Mr. Zeldin’s campaign was trying to suppress voter turnout with a mailer sent to thousands of voters telling them that absentee ballots had to be postmarked no later than Election Day, November 6, when the actual deadline is the day prior, November 5.

Spokespeople for Mr. Zeldin said that the misinformation came from a mix-up at the printing plant where the mailers were printed and that when it was discovered everyone who had received the first one received a corrected new one.

But the exact same thing had happened to a mailer from Mr. Zeldin’s campaign in 2016, and on Tuesday Mr. Gershon went so far as to ask the State Board of Elections to investigate the circumstances of the incorrect mailers.

“Rep. Zeldin claims his campaign committed ‘mistakes’ in both instances,” Mr. Gershon said in a letter he sent to U.S. Attorney Richard P. Donoghue. “That defies logic and credulity. Even if the Zeldin campaign had made a bona fide mistake in 2016, the likelihood that, amid presumably heightened awareness, the same campaign would make the same ‘mistake’ in 2018—is near zero. This is a deliberate targeted strategy of voter suppression by the Zeldin campaign.”

You've read 1 of 7 free articles this month.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

The left will stop at nothing to cheat, steal and lie their way back into power.
By even flow (801), East Hampton on Oct 25, 18 12:14 PM
Like giving voters incorrect information about when their absentee ballots are due?
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (4577), HAMPTON BAYS on Oct 25, 18 12:41 PM
Meanwhile the right is elbow deep in voter suppression and gerrymandering.
By Pacman (208), Southampton on Oct 25, 18 2:00 PM
No, not like a simple typo. Like an open border get out the vote effort.
By even flow (801), East Hampton on Oct 25, 18 5:33 PM
Yup, the same simple typo in two consecutive elections. Put the shoe on the other foot. Would you buy that?
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (4577), HAMPTON BAYS on Oct 25, 18 6:01 PM
1 member liked this comment
Oh yes. And Liz Warren is a Native American.
By even flow (801), East Hampton on Oct 26, 18 5:54 AM
REDMAP

GOP has been dirty a LONG time. Just ask Gary Hart.
Oct 26, 18 6:05 AM appended by Mr. Z
Next time you see Karl Rove, ask him what "ratf*****g" is...
By Mr. Z (10651), North Sea on Oct 26, 18 6:05 AM
Gill v. Whitford

'nuff said.
By Po Boy (3012), Water Mill on Oct 26, 18 7:29 AM
@ Po Boy

Quote:

"'nuff said."
-----------------------------------

Well, no, Po Boy, not "'nuff" at all.

"Gill v. Whitford" (a case brought in Wisconsin alleging unconstitutional Republican gerrymandering) is silent on the merits. All it says is that the plaintiff alleging the harm didn't have standing. The issue is undecided. It will be re-presented with a plaintiff WITH standing.

If there was a POINT that you were trying to make with your reference ...more
By highhatsize (3768), East Quogue on Oct 26, 18 8:44 AM
1 member liked this comment
Oh, well. As the SCOTUS sent the case back to the lower courts finding that the plaintiffs had not demonstrated standing for the case in demonstrating harm, sending it back to reevaluate how harm could be consider, and as "the issue is undecided" as you say, that leaves only one conclusion:

Mr. Z's allegations is simply baseless at this juncture and his assertion is nothing more than opinionated fear mongering.

By Po Boy (3012), Water Mill on Oct 26, 18 8:56 AM
You and your fellow trump lovers can lie all you want. We know the truth and if our millennials come out to vote we'll inundate you with the truth!
By jediscuba (51), Suthampton on Nov 1, 18 12:19 PM
1 member liked this comment
I don’t think Republican BOE Commissioner LaLota is right in saying that the processing of absentee ballota at headquarters is a “discretionary task.” If I come into the BOE as a properly enrolled voter, I have an absolute right to receive an absentee ballot application then and there, to have it processed then and there, and to cast that absentee ballot then and there. It’s mandatory, not discretionary. There is no requirement that any of this be done by mail.

As ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1878), Quiogue on Oct 26, 18 5:39 AM
1 member liked this comment
Reminder to all Democrats voting on Wednesday, bring your I.D.
By even flow (801), East Hampton on Oct 26, 18 5:53 AM
Does your comment contain a "simple typo" or was it deliberate? Because election day is Tuesday.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (4577), HAMPTON BAYS on Oct 26, 18 7:24 AM
1 member liked this comment
ID for free stuff, ID for a free library card, ID to open a bank account, ID to see a doctor , ID to use the emergency room but no ID to vote and the only ones who have a problem with it are the Democrat Party faithful, let that sink in.
By bigfresh (3852), north sea on Oct 26, 18 6:32 AM
1 member liked this comment
Let this sink in. Cheaters are losers, even if they're "winning".

Drawing the Line
How redistricting turned America from blue to red.

By Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker


Two of the most common gerrymandering techniques are “packing” and “cracking.” In the first, the party in charge of redistricting tries to “pack” voters from the rival party into as few districts as possible, to minimize the number of seats the opposition ...more
By Mr. Z (10651), North Sea on Oct 26, 18 7:04 AM
1 member liked this comment
Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America's Democracy

By David Daley
ISBN 10: 1631491628 / ISBN 13: 9781631491627
By Mr. Z (10651), North Sea on Oct 26, 18 7:05 AM
Big duck, many studies have been done about voter fraud, it’s a right wing fallacy. Let that sink in . Show some proof to your nonsense. I seen yesterday you wanted proof about the cost per student for education. So so proof, good luck.
By Fred s (1502), Southampton on Oct 26, 18 6:52 AM
The real fraud is the REDMAP project.
By Mr. Z (10651), North Sea on Oct 26, 18 7:06 AM
You mean, like in Gill v. Whitford that could be argued was a direct result of Redmap, where the SCOTUS ruling on June 18, 2018, remanded the case back to lower courts, finding that the plaintiffs had not demonstrated standing for the case in demonstrating harm?
By Po Boy (3012), Water Mill on Oct 26, 18 7:28 AM
You mean the case was decided on procedural grounds instead of its merits?
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (4577), HAMPTON BAYS on Oct 26, 18 7:39 AM
Nope. I mean, the plaintiffs had not demonstrated standing for the case in demonstrating harm.
By Po Boy (3012), Water Mill on Oct 26, 18 7:50 AM
Standing is a procedural question. Read up, here's some search terms: "procedural grounds vs substantive grounds."
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (4577), HAMPTON BAYS on Oct 26, 18 8:06 AM
1 member liked this comment
Missed the part on "remanded the case back to lower courts," did you?
By Po Boy (3012), Water Mill on Oct 26, 18 8:59 AM
I'm not sure what that has to do with your incorrect belief that the SCOTUS decision was made on the merits of the case.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (4577), HAMPTON BAYS on Oct 26, 18 9:02 AM
"Among the misshapen districts to emerge from Pennsylvania’s 2011 redistricting plan is one Daley describes as looking “like a horned antelope barrelling down a hill on a sled.” Another has been compared to Donald Duck kicking Goofy in the groin. So skillfully were the lines drawn that in 2012—when President Obama carried Pennsylvania by three hundred thousand votes and the state’s Democratic congressional candidates collectively outpolled their G.O.P. rivals by nearly ...more
By Mr. Z (10651), North Sea on Oct 26, 18 10:09 PM
1 member liked this comment
Two elections in a row Zeldin has done the same thing and received wide criticism both times:
Zeldin’s campaign sent a mailer to thousands of voters telling them that absentee ballots have to be postmarked no later than Election Day, November 6, when the actual deadline is the day prior, November 5.
Either he is too incompetent to explain voting deadlines, or he is a cheater. Either is a disqualifier.
By Arnold Timer (306), Sag Harbor on Oct 26, 18 7:18 AM
1 member liked this comment
Apparently most of the mailers were sent to non-Democrat voters and the owner of the printing company, Scott Nordin, released a statement claiming responsibility that the printing company had used the wrong file.

The printing company owner also said in the statement admitting responsibility that a new mailer with correct information regarding absentee ballots was sent, indicating the Zeldin campaign had no involvement in the mailing of the absentee ballots themselves.
By Po Boy (3012), Water Mill on Oct 26, 18 8:03 AM
I wonder if they'll expect us to buy it in two years as well?
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (4577), HAMPTON BAYS on Oct 26, 18 8:07 AM
1 member liked this comment
I'm not one much for conjecture and hypotheticals. You may differ.
By Po Boy (3012), Water Mill on Oct 26, 18 8:46 AM
Fool me once...how does it go?
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (4577), HAMPTON BAYS on Oct 26, 18 8:49 AM
NY-1 will stay Republican. It won’t be close. But if you love America you have to get out and vote against semocrats who want to destroy it. God Bless you all.
By SlimeAlive (1015), Southampton on Oct 31, 18 5:29 AM
Slimey, if you love America, don’t bad mouth everyone in America . Go vote. One party doesn’t patriotism.if you want white nationalist, vote with slimey.
Oct 31, 18 5:50 AM appended by Fred s
Doesn’t own patriotism
By Fred s (1502), Southampton on Oct 31, 18 5:50 AM
CNN hack Don Lemon must really be craving attention...and err, ratings? He can’t get any viewers when he’s not spewing his Whitney liberal talking points...so he tells his viewers that “White men are the biggest terror threat in this country” and that “we have to start doing something about them” and “there’s no white-guy ban. So what do we do about that?”

This is CNN folks...in a nutshell. Gone are the days where CNN just reported ...more
By DiseaseDiocese (211), Riverhead on Nov 1, 18 9:40 AM
If Muslim people were committing mass shootings on a monthly basis Republicans would be frothing at the mouth.

But they don't. White men do.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (4577), HAMPTON BAYS on Nov 1, 18 9:55 AM
3 members liked this comment
Ever heard of ISIS. You don't know much.
By themarlinspike (38), southampton on Nov 6, 18 9:32 AM
I repeat: If Muslims were committing mass shootings ON A MONTHLY BASIS Republicans would be frothing at the mouth.
Nov 6, 18 9:50 AM appended by Fore1gnBornHBgrown
Regardless of your weird non-denial objections, it remains true that if Muslims committed mass murder at the frequency of white men, Republicans would be frothing at the mouth.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (4577), HAMPTON BAYS on Nov 6, 18 9:50 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By themarlinspike (38), southampton on Nov 6, 18 9:55 AM
Fore, don’t waste your time
By Fred s (1502), Southampton on Nov 6, 18 10:07 AM
Don Lemon is married to a white man, which makes his proclamation that white men are the nation's gravest terror threat so funny.
By even flow (801), East Hampton on Nov 6, 18 10:11 AM
1 member liked this comment
But it's a fact that most mass shootings in America are committed by white men, right?

I have nothing but time, Fred...I already voted!
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (4577), HAMPTON BAYS on Nov 6, 18 10:15 AM
1 member liked this comment
God Help Us all ... if Trump and his fellow Republicans continue to lie and defraud the American People we are all doomed.
How do you know Trump is lying?
Simple, his mouth is moving. If he's not out and outright lying, then he's fabricating a story.
He feels if he says something often enough and loud enough ... it will be taken for the truth.
Please believe me when I say 2+2 does not equal 5 ... even if Trump says so.
By jediscuba (51), Suthampton on Nov 1, 18 12:23 PM
1 member liked this comment
You’re long on hysteria and tired cliches but short on substance. Get in line.
By SlimeAlive (1015), Southampton on Nov 3, 18 7:45 AM
"What might earlier Presidents have made of Donald Trump?"

"Thomas Jefferson and John Quincy Adams, probably our most intellectual Presidents, would be totally dismayed by Trump’s ignorance and lack of knowledge of history, science, and grammar. A very hard working President such as James K. Polk would be appalled at Trump’s laziness. Abraham Lincoln, to whom Trump often compares himself, would be very disturbed by Trump’s personality and divisiveness. The Great Emancipator ...more
By Mr. Z (10651), North Sea on Nov 5, 18 7:35 PM
2 members liked this comment
Separately, the ballot row for SAM/Libertarian is confusing.
By pat paulsen (2), southampton on Nov 5, 18 6:43 PM
What is wrong with being a nationalist? One who puts their country first .
By bigfresh (3852), north sea on Nov 5, 18 7:19 PM
Cheaters are losers.

Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America's Democracy

By David Daley
By Mr. Z (10651), North Sea on Nov 5, 18 7:31 PM
Hey Bigdumb!!!Because it is associated with white supremacy in 2018.
By kicker0224 (4), East Moriches on Nov 8, 18 2:24 PM
My absentee ballot has not arrived at all.
By SusieD (110), Southampton on Nov 6, 18 9:06 AM
If you haven’t done so, call the Suffolk County Board of elections 631-852-4500. You may not be able to get through. So call tomorrow. The ballots went out VERY late (I did call to inquire, mine finally showed up). They need to know that you were disenfranchised by the missing ballot. Bad news all around.
By esg1192 (8), Southampton on Nov 6, 18 11:24 AM