I must address some of these unfounded and ridiculous allegations about my independent petitions that have been made by my opponent in the Republican primary and fueled by a local media outlet. It has been reported INACCURATELY and it is important that you, the voter, know the facts.
When a candidate seeks any ballot line for an election, that candidate must circulate petitions and obtain a minimum number of signatures from registered voters that reside in their particular election district. Most, if not all candidates, seek to obtain signatures in excess of the minimum amount required because some signatures may be challenged by their opponents and subsequently removed from consideration. Some examples of this are:
- The signer of the petition happens to live outside of the election district.
- The signer is not registered to vote.
- The signer writes their incorrect address.
All candidates, in every level of government, will have or have had signatures on their petitions that fall into at least one of the disqualifying categories above, including my opponent.
After signatures are obtained by a candidate to qualify to be on a particular ballot, the candidate must submit their petitions to the board of elections. Before submission, the respective candidate’s committee can make any corrections to inaccuracies on the petitions before they are submitted. These corrections can be made on any level of the petitions, EXCEPT FOR the signature line. The Board of Elections accepts ALL the signatures when submitted and deems them all VALID at time of presentation.
It is the responsibility of any opposing candidate to identify any signatures in question and “challenge them” in order to have them ultimately removed from consideration. If enough signatures are removed from consideration and a candidate falls below the minimum number of signatures required, the petition as a whole becomes invalid and the candidate’s name is removed from consideration from that specific ballot line. This “petition challenging process” is common and something both my Republican opponent and I are currently engaged in.
Concerning my United Monroe petitions, I must stress that there was neither fraud nor deception when these petitions were circulated. All of the volunteers who circulated my petitions emphasized that my petitions were for an additional independent ballot line and all of my petitions had my name, the office I am running for, and my home address on them, in bold.
My Republican opponent attempted to challenge many of these signatures. Out of over 1,900 signatures obtained and submitted, 1,571 were deemed valid by the Board of Elections. A total of 1,500 signatures were needed to appear on this ballot line.
My team and I have challenged my Republican opponent’s independent petitions. Out of 2,150 signatures, my team challenged 950 of them. These signatures included voters that lived in different Assembly districts, non-registered voters, incorrect addresses, improper witness statements, false dates, and alterations without initials. The Board of Elections is currently in the process of determining how many of my opponent’s signatures will be deemed “invalid.”
As a voter, it is important to understand the petition process and all of its complexities before rushing to judgement after reading an article in a newspaper or on social media. It is unfortunate that this routine balloting process is being used in an attempt to deceive the public and slander my candidacy, my service and my name.
My opponent and his team have engaged in exceedingly negative attacks and have also gone as far as personally harassing many people on my team, including myself during this process. My opponent is choosing to run this race in a much lower place than I could ever imagine. This tactic and strategy, if you can call it one, is one that is deceptive and unbecoming of someone running to represent the fine people of New York’s 98th Assembly District, all of whom I value so dearly.
You have my promise that I will continue to run on my positive record of accomplishment and I will continue to help all of the constituents I am proud to represent. My team and I will continue to work tirelessly and with your help we will prevail on Primary Day, Sept. 13 as well as on Election Day on Tues., Nov. 8.
Thank you for your time and your support!
ASSEMBLYMAN KARL BRABENEC