Dems To Stay On Ballot

By Haley Burton

Dems To Stay On Ballot

September 6, 2012 Updated Sep 6, 2012 at 2:12 PM EDT

Town of Union, NY (WBNG Binghamton) A judge rules in a State Supreme Court case mistakes made on a candidate petition for Town of Union Council were not meant to deceive or defraud.

Two Democrats will remain on the ballot in November.

Honorable Brian Burns, Acting Supreme Court Justice, handed down the written decision on Thursday. He denied a request of Michael Schafer, the petitioner, to invalidate the candidate petitions of Frank Palmisano and Bill Tastle.

Palmisano and Tastle are Democrats running for Town of Union Council.

Schafer, through his attorney Alan Pope, asked the court to throw a specific page of the petitions out (page 43), saying there were false entries including a signature crossed out, a wrong date and the wrong number of signatures tallied. If this page were to be thrown out, it would have removed Palmisano and Tastle's names from the ballot due to lack of signatures. It is required candidates have 500 signatures to make the ballot.

In a hearing on Tuesday in State Supreme Court in Binghamton, Palmisano said the errors were innocent mistakes.

In his written decision, Judge Burns said the alterations on the petitions were "adequately explained" by Palmisano in the hearing. Burns ruled the mistakes were not done in effort to defraud or deceive thus not invalidating the entire petition sheet.

Michael Schafer told Action News on the decision: "It's disappointing on one hand but my intention was not to disenfranchise the voters. It's important voters get the chance to vote for the candidate they choose. But my intention was to call attention to the petitions we as candidates put in and the importance of checking them."