A state appeals court has reversed a court decision in the primary race for the Bethlehem supervisor Working Families Party line that kept 11 absentee ballots sealed.
A state Supreme Court judge had previously found that the Board of Elections did not have the authority to issue the absentee ballots because the ballot applications were signed before the voters were registered.
The decision, which was handed down by the Third Judicial Department Appellate Division on the afternoon of Wednesday, Oct. 21, found that Councilman Sam Messina had introduced his winning argument in an untimely manner and as such, Albany County Board of Elections Democratic Commissioner Matthew Clyne and incumbent Supervisor Jack Cunningham did not have sufficient opportunity to defend against the argument.
we find that the petition did not sufficiently put respondents on notice that this argument was being advanced and, therefore, the court erred in allowing the issue to be raised for the first time during the hearing and ruling on its merits, the ruling reads.
It was not immediately clear when the ballots would be counted, or what result the decision will have on the outcome of the race. Without counting the absentee ballots in question, Messina has 11 votes and incumbent Cunningham, who staged a write-in campaign for the line, has five. There are 28 voters in Bethlehem registered with the WFP.
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