Picente asks Cuomo to remove Oneida County election commissioners over NY22 race errors
Following numerous errors discovered in the judicial review of New York’s 22nd Congressional District, Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente Jr. called for the removal of the county’s election commissioners in a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday afternoon.
The governor has the authority to remove election commissioners for cause under state law. Democratic Election Commissioner Carolann Cardone and Republican Election Commissioner Rose Grimaldi recently were reappointed to their positions.
In his letter, Picente pointed to state Supreme Court Justice Scott DelConte’s findings that the county board of elections failed to comply with state and federal election law.
“Most disturbingly, Justice DelConte found that the failures of the Election Commissioners resulted in the failure to cast as many as 1,100 legitimate ballots and the rejection of an unknown number of voters who went to polling places and were turned away,” Picente said in the letter.
In Oneida County, more than 2,400 online voter registration applications, received timely, were not processed by Election Day. As a result, those names did not appear in poll books.
“No one will ever know how many individuals, when told by a poll worker that they were not listed in the poll book, simply walked away from their polling site without casting an affidavit ballot, or seeking a court order from one of the available on-call judges,” DelConte said in his Feb. 5 order.
After Election Day, more than 1,500 affidavit ballots were administratively rejected by Oneida County without canvassing or reviewing the state’s voter database or the board of elections’ own records, before error correction.
The disenfranchisement of the county’s voters spurred the writing of the letter, Picente wrote.
“The denial of this most fundamental and sacred right of citizenship requires immediate action,” he said. “We have an obligation to act when the rights of our citizens are denied.”
Both Cardone and Grimaldi were called to testify during the 11 days of evidentiary hearings in the judicial review.
The Observer-Dispatch has reached out to Grimaldi and Cardone for comment.
Check back for updates on this developing story.