Another New York City elected official has been kicked off the ballot for apparently trivial reasons. First it was city councilmember Bill de Blasio, who was running a heady campaign for public advocate until last Thursday, when election officials found that the cover sheet on his packet of petitions to the Board of Elections claimed he had 131 volumes of petitions. In reality, he had 132 volumes. (Apparently he wasn’t trying to overstate his successes, but he was punished anyway. He is appealing the decision, with the help of competitor Norman Siegel).
Now, Manhattan councilmember Alan Gerson has been thrown off the ballot in his reelection bid because of another typo:
City Hall News reports that the print shop that published Gerson’s petitions listed his address as 1505 LaGuardia Place, instead of his actual address, which is 505 LaGuardia Place, on a petition book with around 1,000 signatures.
Over the weekend, Gerson attempted to fix the typo by crossing out the extra “1,” which apparently did nothing but incur the wrath of election officials.
Gerson’s campaign consultant George Arzt said Gerson had collected 7,000 signatures (we’re finding out how many he needs to be on the ballot). De Blasio only needed 7,500 signatures, but he racked up 125,000.
Those election officials really know how to cross their t’s and dot their i’s. Maybe they’re protecting all of us from election fraud — or maybe they have nothing better to do with their time.
Like de Blasio, Gerson will contest the decisions at a hearing at the Board of Elections today.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 28, 2009