Friday, November 22, 2013

Update on that Town of Malta Election

As I wrote here on Wednesday, this was a cliff-hanger of an election here in Malta, NY.
Today, the Albany (NY) Times Union reported that Judge Robert Chauvin ruled that two disputed absentee ballots for Democrat Cynthia Young could not be counted. This means that the Republican incumbent Paul Sausville has won re-election by one vote.

Malta ballot (Dennis Yusko / Times Union)
These photos from the Times Union show the front and back of a disputed ballot. Those handwritten words, "no vote", on the back of a ballot made the whole ballot void, including the unmarred choices on the ballot's front side.
Malta ballot (Dennis Yusko / Times Union)
So a word of warning to folks who vote by absentee ballot: Read the directions. "No stray marks" means no stray marks. In a close race, both sides are going to lawyer up and challenge the heck out of everything. Even a pin prick, as from a staple, becomes fodder for legal arguments. Really.
The Handsome Husband and I were at the Malta Sunrise Rotary-sponsored Red Cross blood drive today. (The HH was volunteering, handing out juice; I was donating blood.) While there, we saw and chatted with both Mr. Sausville, who was donating blood, and Mrs. Young, who was also volunteering. They both looked exhausted.
God bless them both. You know, it takes a lot of time and money to run for public office, not to mention a lot of intestinal fortitude. How many of us are willing to stand up and put ourselves out there to serve our communities in this way? Not enough. I can't imagine how Cynthia Young feels today. One vote. Man, oh man, that has to hurt. Thank you Cynthia, for your efforts and for your willingness to serve our town. Without folks like you, there is no choice, and thus, no democracy.
And thank you, too, Paul. Congratulations. At the end of what must have been a very taxing two weeks, you still made time to come in and donate blood today. Thank you for that, as well.