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Monroe County officials look into problem with how some Assembly Primary ballots were distributed

Sep 13, 2018

Monroe County Elections Commissioners are looking into a situation where more than two dozen voters in Rochester did not get the proper ballot when they went to cast their vote in Thursday's primaries.

It happened at the Rochester Academy of Medicine on East Avenue, and it involved 27 voters who were supposed to get ballots that had the candidates for the 136th Assembly District Democratic Primary on them.

That race features candidates Todd Grady, Jamie Romeo and Jaclyn Richard. There is no Republican candidate for that contest this November.

But Democratic Elections Commissioner Tom Ferrarese says there are ballots for two different election districts at that polling site, and when a poll worker had to get another pack of ballots, that person mistakenly pulled some ballots that didn’t have the 136th Assembly District candidates on them as they should have for that particular election district.

“So we know the 27 voters that were involved that didn’t get to vote in 136. Since both ballots are identical other than, all the rest of the elections, or races, are 100 percent accurate.”

Ferrarese says because of a system that includes checks and balances, the Board of Elections does know which voters got the wrong ballots.

But he says it would not be up to the Board of Elections to try and contact those people to see if they wanted to vote again. He says that would be up to a judge. And Ferraese says that would likely  happen only if the margin of victory in that race is very close.

Ferrarese says the Board of Elections does not take this lightly; they strive to make sure everyone’s vote is being counted accurately.  He says he and Republican County Elections Commissioner Doug French went to the polling place after hearing about the problem.

“The polling site is extremely busy, I don’t want to give the poll workers there any excuse, but even while commissioner French and myself were out there, people were coming in constantly and they were busy all the time when we were out there reviewing the circumstances under which this occurred.”