ALBANY – Julie Gansle will appear on the Independence Party line in her bid for town clerk after waging an aggressive write in and absentee ballot campaign against her opponent Alison McLean Lane.
And, all the Republican candidates won their respective write in campaigns for the right to appear on the Green Party line, according to the Albany County Board of Elections.
On Primary Day, McLean Lane, who was endorsed by the Independence Party and as such had her name appear on the ballot, led by a count of 146 to 94. The Republicans filed enough petitions to open the ballot to a write in, however, and all 94 were for Gansle.
There were also 175 absentee ballots filed and, after they were counted on Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 26 and 27, Gansle won the primary 260-150.
Earlier on Tuesday, Judge Kimberly O’Connor tossed out a lawsuit filed by McLean Lane because the necessary paperwork was filed a day late. That suit claimed a number of voters were persuaded, coerced or tricked by Republican operatives into voting by absentee when they were really going to be in town.
Once the judge tossed the suit, however, the counting began. It quickly became clear that nearly all of the absentees were cast for Gansle. The democrats did make a general objection to all the ballots but on Wednesday morning, Gansle said McLean
While part of the initial lawsuit was based on an investigator who interviewed a number of voters, another part was based on the large number of absentee ballots cast this year compared to years past. For example, in 2012 there were 22 on the Independence Party and in 2015 there were 51.
“I worked very hard and I made it a point to get out and hit the street and meet voters and introduce myself and in the end the voters voice prevailed as opposed to party bosses,” Gansle said outside the BOE on Wednesday morning. “It’s a testament to how hard I’ve worked since June, and getting out there and meeting the voters rather than meeting with lawyers and judges.”
At least six voters were subpoenaed by the McLean Lane legal team, headed up by attorney Nicholas Tishler, and were in court on Tuesday presumably ready to testify. But, they were sent home just prior to O’Connor dismissing the lawsuit.
After the count on Tuesday, the McLean Lane did file specific objections to some ballots and some were set aside – which is common if the two commissioners at the Board of Elections disagreed on their validity – but all that is now moot.
“Most were concerning technical defects and at the end of the day Julie Gansle worked hard and convinced close to 100 people to come to the polls and vote on the machines,” said Republican Board of Elections Commissioner Rachael Bledi.
Meanwhile, Republican candidates swept the Green Party write in races on Primary Day too. Unlike other minor parties, the Green Party does not cross endorse major party candidates and both sides of the aisle were forced to write in names on the ballot if they wanted to pursue the line.
The unofficial results of the Green Party write in for contested races are:
Republican Frank Mauriello: 10
Democrat Paula Mahan: 8
Julie Gansle: 15
McLean Lane: 1
Town Board (all candidates run at large)
Republican David Green: 21
Republican Mark Mitchell: 12
Republican Christine Badger Mele: 10
Democrat Brian Austin: 1
Democrat Linda Murphy: 1
Democrat Melissa Jeffers Van Dollen: 4
In Colonie there are 53,084 registered voters. Of those, 19,601 are Democrats, 15,374 are Republicans, 3,150 are Independence Party members, 795 are enrolled in the Conservative Party, 141 in the Green Party, 115 in the Working Families Party, 42 are Libertarians, 10 are enrolled in the Women’s Equality Party and there are six enrolled in the Reform Party.
There are 13,850 who are registered to vote but are not enrolled in any party.
Minor parties, with catchy names like “Independence” and “Working Families,” can be the deciding factor since voters in a general election can vote on any of the nine lines.