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Burke to appear before state Board of Elections to answer ballot challenge

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Stephen W. Burke, a Democrat from Macomb running for the 21st Congressional District seat, has been summoned to appear before the state Board of Elections and the state Supreme Court next week to answer specific objections to his ballot petitions.

Mr. Burke said that he received a letter from Albany-based election attorney Kathleen O'Keefe on Wednesday afternoon informing him that his petitions were being challenged for having insufficient signatures.Ms. O'Keefe apparently is representing Jason R. Clark, a St. Lawrence County Democrat.

Mr. Burke said that he secured 1,311 signatures to appear on the ballot as a Democrat; 1,250 signatures are required, according to state elections law.

If he survives the challenge, Mr. Burke will face Aaron G. Woolf, a documentary filmmaker from Elizabethtown, in the Democratic primary.

He has said previously that the challenges to his petitions were a way for Democrats to clear a path for Mr. Woolf to the general election.

Mr. Burke said that his hearing before the Board of Elections is at 2 p.m. Monday in Albany.

If the board rules in his favor, election attorneys representing Mr. Clark will bring the matter to the state Supreme Court, according to Mr. Burke.

According to an order issued out of the state Supreme Court in Albany County, Mr. Burke is ordered to show cause as to why his Democratic petitions should not be ruled invalid.

To view a copy of the order, click here: http://wdt.me/Z8GXcL.

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