Over the past several months, candidates for county committee or City Council or mayor have been collecting signatures of registered voters to get their names on the ballot. But now comes the challenge process, which means their opponents can try to kick them off the ballot for minor technicalities. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.
There was a commotion at the Board of Elections on Tuesday.
At issue? A six-inch pile full of hundreds of challenges to candidates' petitions to get on the ballot. These challenges are attempts to throw people off the ballot.
Many times, they're successful.
Candidates can try to convince the Board otherwise. But for first-time office seekers, it's a tough sell.
"So it's just a shame," said Erycka Montoya, a candidate kicked off the ballot. "If it's supposed to be about choice, about democracy, why suppress choice for voters?"
They bring their best defenses. Much to no avail.
"I couldn't provide a line-by-line analysis," said Phil Marius, a candidate kicked off the ballot.
Translation: he's kicked off the ballot, thanks to the family attorney for one of his opponents.
"He didn't have the right number of signatures," said Attorney Richard Luthmann. "As a matter of law, you need 450 signatures. The board found he had less than that."
More powerful forces find the system easier to navigate. Mayor Bill de Blasio's campaign was before the board early Tuesday trying not to lose its place on the Working Families Party line. It was a petition challenge based on a so-called technicality.
The campaign was victorious, at least for now.
"As of today, the mayor is on the Working Family Party line for mayor," said Stanley Schlein, an attorney for de Blasio.
NY1 has learned that his Republican candidate Nicole Malliotakis has sued the de Blasio campaign over the same issue. They will be in court later this week.
Another candidate for mayor was not so lucky. Rocky De La Fuente lost his spot on the GOP line.