Libertarian candidate receives 429 votes in NY 20th CD race

KW: The NYS Board of Elections does not want to tell you how many people voted on paper ballots for Libertarian candidate Eric Sundwall. The duopoloy machinery kicked him off the ballot after the absentee ballots were printed, and they wanted this third party energy out of sight and out of mind.

But, ballot access expert Richard Winger of Ballot Access News studied the election results. And, Winger asserts that Eric Sundwall was probably the recipient of all, or at least most, of what the BOE is reporting as “blank, void and scattering” votes. I hope that the voters in the 20th Congressional District will consider demanding better answers, and not let their votes get labeled and dismissed in this way. If I had voted absentee for a certain candidate, and my local BOE buried that information, I would be very unhappy. Perhaps someone will file a lawsuit, or at least a Freedom of Information for the tally sheets or something.

In the meantime, there seems to be some positive support for Libertarian ideas in New York’s 20th Congressional District, Hudson, Saratoga Springs, Glens Falls, etc. I believe that Eric Sundwall actually had some Green Party supporters coalitioning with him as well.

from Ballot Access News
Official Election Returns, 20th U.S. House District
May 19th, 2009

New York has released official election returns for the special election of March 31 in the 20th U.S. House district [the seat vacated by now Senator Kirsten Gillibrand]. The only candidates on the ballot were Democrat Scott Murphy and Republican Jim Tedisco. Murphy won with a margin of 726 votes. There were 429 “blank, void and scattering” votes. Probably the overwhelming majority of these were for Eric Sundwall, Libertarian Party nominee whose petitions were challenged so that he did not appear on the regular ballot. He did appear on some absentee ballots. Since U.S. House was the only office on the ballot, it is not likely that many, if any, of the 429 “blank, void and scattering” votes were actual blanks. If someone took the bother to go to the polls, it is unlikely that he or she would not vote for the only office on the ballot.

The Conservative Party cross-endorsed the Republican nominee; the Working Families and Independence Parties cross-endorsed the Democratic nominee. The percentage that each party received in the special election was: Democratic 43.64%; Republican 42.73%; Conservative 7.04%; Independence 4.20%; Working Families 2.39%. The Conservative Party showing was unusually strong; that party had not polled as much as 7% in any U.S. House race in New York in November 2008, even in districts with no Republican nominee.

In November 2008, the percentage for each party had been: Democratic 57.43%; Republican 32.06%; Conservative 3.23%; Independence 2.57%; Working Families 4.70%. In November 2008 the Independence Party had cross-endorsed the Republican nominee.

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