Today is Primary Day in upstate New York and most voters will begin casting their ballots at noon. This year, the Onondaga County Board of Elections has had an unusual amount of challenges to petition signatures collected by candidates.
Two Syracuse mayoral candidates and one common council candidate were thrown off the Democratic primary ballot for a variety of reasons according to Democratic Elections Commissioner Dustin Czarny.
“Instead of going door to door, people chose to collect signatures in large group gatherings," Czarny said. "A lot of these people weren’t registered to vote, weren’t registered to vote at the right address, or weren’t even in the party.”
Czarny said other problems included residents signing multiple petitions and witnesses not initialing changes.
Republican Ken Bush is running against Onondaga County Legislator Derek Shepard in today’s primary. A county court judge threw out Bush’s petitions after there was a challenge, but Czarny said an appellate court put them back in.
“So the original decision by the board of elections was upheld and Mr. Bush will be on a primary line,” Czarny said.
There was an objection to Independent mayoral candidate Ben Walsh's Reform Party petition but nothing came of it. Three Syracuse mayoral candidates will be on the Democrats’ primary ballot including Juanita Perez Williams, Councilor Joe Nicoletti and City Auditor Marty Masterpole. Polls close at 9 p.m.