Colton environmentalist Donald Hassig may find his race for Congress over before it really had a chance to begin. Hassig, who’s running as a Green Party candidate to replace Bill Owens when he resigns his 21st Congressional District seat at the end of this term, is having some petition problems.
The Adirondack Daily Enterprise is reporting that the New York State Board of Elections (BOE) says it didn’t receive Hassig’s petition to be included in a Green Party primary on time. Hassig gathered enough signatures to be accepted as a Green Party candidate (61), but says he didn’t see a rule on the board’s web site saying petitions had to be in on that day. In a press release, Hassig said the instructions on the Board of Elections web site were unclear:
On April 22, 2014, I spoke with an attorney in the Office of Special Counsel of the BOE. This person stated to me that a federal court order was available on the BOE website, which made known the necessity of using overnight mail if the designating petition was mailed on the last day for filing. I explained that I had not read this court order because I felt that having read the BOE instructions for filing the designating petition, I had a full knowledge of what was required. I took the position that the BOE should have revised its instructions for filing so as to make known the new requirement for arrival of the designating petition at the BOE office on the next business day after mailing on the last day for filing. The attorney I was speaking with argued that I should have read everything on the BOE website. I explained that I did not have time to read this considerable quantity of information because I had work to do and limited time to get it all done.
Due to the negligence of the BOE in having failed to revise its instructions for filing the designating petition, I find myself in peril of having my designating petition rejected, thereby losing the opportunity to have a ballot line in a Green Party primary election.
If Hassig succeeds in getting his name on the ballot, he’ll face Glens Falls bakery owner Matt Funiciello in a Green Party primary. Hassig told the Enterprise that the Board of Elections says it will make its decision about his petition sometime this month.