Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Who will be on the ballot for the Town of Union Council in November? It's now up to a judge after a hearing in State Supreme Court in Binghamton where Republicans are challenging Democratic candidates petitions for election.
Both parties stated their case in State Supreme Court in front of Judge Brian Banks for nearly two hours on Thursday.
Frank Palmisano, a Town of Union Democratic candidate, took the witness stand standing up to accusations that errors on his signature petitions makes them invalid. This means his name could be left off the November election ballot.
Petitioner Michael Schafer's lawyer, Alan Pope, says the main issue is a certain page in the petitions. Pope says there are false entries including a signature crossed out and a wrong date. Pope said when signing the witness portion of the page, Palmisano was stating that all of the information on the petition was true.
Pope has asked the judge to throw the entire page out. This could remove Palmisano and another Democratic candidate, Bill Tastle's names from the ballot. 500 signatures are needed to be included. If signatures are deemed invalid and the necessary amount of signatures are not met, voters in the Town of Union will see a straight Republican ticket.
Palmisano said in testimony that the mistakes were unintentional and his experience as a candidate should prove that.
"I think the intention of the election law is to not deprive candidates from the opportunity to serve the people unless you have a major error. I don't think a major error was established. They had the burden of proof and I don't think they met it," said James Mack, Attorney.
Pope declined to respond until after a decision has been made by the Judge.
Judge Burns says he will issue a decision in writing by noon on Thursday. Burns is an Acting State Supreme Court judge out of Otsego County.