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Hearing Set in New York Case Over How to Tally Votes for Two Parties Who are Running the Same Nominee

Published on December 2, 2010, by in General.

U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff will hold a hearing in Conservative Party of New York and Working Families Party of New York v New York State Board of Elections on Monday, December 6, at 4 p.m.  This is the case that contests the state’s policy on counting votes.  When two parties jointly nominate the same candidate, and a voter casts two votes for that one candidate (one vote on each party’s line), the state deems that to be one vote for the party closest to the top of the ballot.  This means, generally, that a voter who votes twice for a candidate who has been nominated by the Conservative Party and the Republican Party, the Republican Party gets that vote and the Conservative Party doesn’t.

The state will try to persuade the judge to dismiss the case.  If the state fails to do that, there will be a trial in June 2011.

This problem mostly didn’t exist before 2010 in New York state, because before 2010, voters at the polls generally used mechanical voting machines, with levers.  The machine physically prevented anyone from voting for two candidates for the same office.  But starting in 2010, New York state uses paper ballots.

6 Responses

  1. In NYC’s ballot it would be from Left to Right. So it could be two minor party’s whose oval was selected and one of the minor parties will get the vote. Also not in this case, if a write-in vote is entered for a listed candidate, that vote will not be counted even though NY is a fusion state.

  2. Richard

    You’re right. It is very strange that New York city uses party columns, but the remainder of the state uses party rows. That makes it difficult to write a concise sentence about the appearance of New York ballots.

  3. Demo Rep

    Will the Stone Age party hacks in the NY legislature change the NY election law sections involved – before Doomsday ???

    Scanners — 1 box for the list of party hack parties. Vote for not more than ONE.

    1 box each for each office – partisan and nonpartisan – Vote for not more than N [number to be elected].

    SOOOOO difficult to understand in the Stone Age New York State Legislature ???

    How long have paper oval scanners being around ???
    About 1950 ??? — for school tests, etc.

    How much added junk in NY junkyards from the dead mechanical voting machines from the 1890s (repeat 1890s) ???

  4. Allen

    Why wouldn’t you just count both votes. Could fusion be used for ballot access?

  5. Richard

    It wouldn’t be fair to count both votes because then the voter would be casting two votes for one candidate. The best solution is to have the vote-counting machine make a warning noise when a voter inserts a ballot with two votes for one office. Then the polling place official could tell the voter, “You overvoted; do you want to throw this ballot away and start all over with a new ballot?” That is what is done now, when a voter votes for two different individuals for the same office.

  6. […] Hearing Set in New York Case Over How to Tally Votes for Two Parties Who are Running the Same Nomine… (Ballot Access News) U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff will hold a hearing in Conservative Party of New York and Working Families Party of New York v New York State Board of Elections on Monday, December 6, at 4 p.m.  This is the case that contests the state’s policy on counting votes. […]

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