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Rise in petition objections reported by Jefferson County Board of Elections


Underscoring the noted increase in competition in local races this year, the Jefferson County Board of Elections has received several objections to designating petitions filed two weeks ago.

“We’ve had more general objections this year than the five years prior that I’ve been here,” Republican Election Commissioner Jerry O. Eaton said.

Objections have been filed in the race for town of Alexandria highway superintendent, in the race for the Jefferson County Republican Committee in the town of Alexandria and in the race for the District 6 seat on the county Board of Legislators.

General objections must be filed within three days of the filing of a petition, according to board guidelines. Once a general objection has been filed, residents have six days to make specific challenges to a candidate’s petition.

The deadline to file designating petitions with the board was 5 p.m. July 11.

July 15 was the last day to file general objections and Monday was the last day to file specific objections, according to board officials.

Residents may file objections based on challenges to the accuracy of a candidate’s accounting of signatures as well as the number of pages in the petition document, according to Democratic Election Commissioner Babette M. Hall.

Both Mr. Eaton and Ms. Hall said they expected a larger number of challenges this year than in years past based on the number of Freedom of Information Law requests and public visitors to the board’s office last week.

The board will hold a public hearing today at 2 p.m. in its offices, 175 Arsenal St., to reveal the results of the investigations it conducted into the objections.

Specific objections filed were:

n Daniel B. Peterson against David H. Bain, who is running on the Republican line for town of Alexandria highway superintendent.

n Ronald G. Thompson filed objections against William E. Elk, Fairman S. Sutton, James R. Hagan and Timothy J. Honeywell, all running for the Jefferson County Republican Committee from the town of Alexandria. Mr. Thompson also is running for the committee from the town of Alexandria. Though the objections were all filed by the same person, they were tallied separately because they were against different people, according to Board of Elections officials.

n Jonathan L. Hirschey filed an objection against Michael F. Astafan, who is running for re-election to the District 6 seat on the Jefferson County Board of Legislators on the Democratic line. Mr. Hirschey filed his objection to Mr. Astafan’s Working Families Party petition. Mr. Hirschey is running for the District 6 seat on the Republican line. Mr. Astafan said Tuesday that, though he still has support from the party, his Working Families petition had been rejected because of a formatting issue.

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