The Schenectady (NY) Daily Gazette reports that there is an effort underway to force Eric Sundwall from the ballot in the March 31 special congressional election.
In what has come to be a standard major-party tactic, Sundwall’s petitions will face close scrutiny:
This week, opponents filed a motion in court and objections with the state Board of Elections to have him removed from the ballot.
Patricia Killian of Dutchess County, Donald Neddo of Waterford and Laurie Kelly Sickles of Ballston Spa on Monday filed an order to show cause with the state Supreme Court in Poughkeepsie.
Neddo and Sickles, both voters in the district, then filed line-by-line objections with the state Board of Elections on Tuesday to 6,362 of the estimated 6,717 signatures Sundwall obtained to get on the ballot.
Candidates who are not members of one of the two biggest parties are required by state law to secure 3,500 signatures of registered district voters to appear on the ballot for a congressional race.
But John Ciampoli, an Albany attorney representing Killian, Neddo and Sickles, said some of the signatures used wrong addresses, other signers live outside the district and some witness statements were done incorrectly.
For example, he said Sundwall submitted some petitions where signers were Albany residents.
“I would have to think that if you’re running for Congress, you know that the city of Albany isn’t in the 20th Congressional District,” he said.
Sundwall defended his petitions, saying that while there may be some errors, he believes that he still has enough valid signatures to remain on the ballot.
“This is more of a harassing tactic,” he said.
The opponents also object to Sundwall’s logo choice, on the grounds that it is ‘misleading’:
The people objecting to Sundwall’s petitions also make a case that he may have confused voters by using a Statue of Liberty logo on his petitions.
The motion contends that the Libertarian logo of the statue’s face and pointed crown is similar to the Conservative Party’s logo, which shows the statue’s torch.
“This is likely to cause confusion among the electorate,” the court motion states.
Sundwall said the logo argument is not new to the Libertarian Party.
“We’ve gone through this with these guys in the past, and we’ve won every time,” he said. “We’ve had our logo on our petitions since either the early ’70s or the late ’80s.”
The article also describes Sundwall’s struggles to be included in the debates:
Sundwall also is trying to get included in a candidate roundtable scheduled Thursday and sponsored by television station WMHT and the Times Union, as well as a debate Tuesday sponsored by WNYT and the Post-Star. He will face both Murphy and Tedisco in a debate March 26 sponsored by talk radio station WROW.
Sundwall’s website seems to indicate progress on the debate front.