Pending approval by the state Board of Elections and barring legitimate objections, a third candidate will appear on the ballot for a March 31 special election in the 20th congressional district. Libertarian Eric Sundwall submitted double the number of voter signatures needed on Monday, March 9.
People are very willing to sign a petition for an independent candidate, said Sundwall, whose campaigned rushed to collect the endorsements over the past two weeks. 3,500 signatures are required to be placed on the ballot.
From Monday, any voter can register an objection within three days. From Thursday, objectors have six days to identify the signatures they protest. The Board of Elections must have a ballot for the election finalized by March 18, though, so anyone may object up to that point, said Bob Brehm, a spokesman for the board.
"Even though everything else is compressed in a special election, the objection process is the same as any other petition," said Brehm.
Brehm also said that the board does not require a signature count to be submitted with the petition, just an indication that the requirement was fulfilled.
As of press time, no objections had been filed.
With his petition filed, Sundwall can at long last turn his attention toward the race itself.
"We hope that we get the respect that we've essentially earned by collection these signatures and be included in forums," he said. "We're out there, slugging it out in the trenches, while Tedisco and Murphy are showing up to empty campaign headquarters openings."
Sundwall said he has confirmed with the League of Women's Voters that he will be included in a debate schedule for March 26. As for the other debates scheduled, he said he will continue to make efforts to join with James Tedisco, R-Schenectady and Scott Murphy, D-Glens Falls.