Court backs judge’s decision to put NY’s Seawright on ballot

A state appellate court docket unanimously dominated Thursday that Upper East Side Assemblywoman Rebecca Seawright shouldn’t be booted from the Democratic and Working Families events ballot traces simply because she failed to file a canopy sheet together with her paperwork amid a pandemic.

The decision by the Appellate Division First Department backs the latest decision of Manhattan state Supreme Court Judge Carol Edmead, who reversed an act by town Board of Elections, which knocked Seawright from the ballot traces for failing to file well timed cowl sheets for her Democratic Party petitions and her WFP submission.

Seawright mentioned she was sick with a coronavirus-like viral an infection in the course of the petition submitting interval that was condensed to assist include the outbreak.

Lawrence Mandelker, the lawyer for Republican challenger Louis Puliafito, a residential doorman, mentioned he has filed a movement to take the case to the state’s highest tribunal, the Court of Appeals.

“These election law proceedings involve the belated filing of a cover sheet and a certificate of acceptance where the delay in filing is attributable to illness or quarantine because of the current COVID-19 pandemic. We hold that under the unique circumstances existing in New York City during the past few months, and the specific health challenges alleged here, the belated filing of these specific documents is not a fatal defect,” mentioned the 4-Zero state Appellate court docket ruling penned by presiding justice Rolando Acosta.

“In so holding, we note that no challenge has been presented to the number of signatures in the designating petitions and no claim of fraud has been alleged. Indeed, there is no evidence of specific actual prejudice presented. Although respondent Board of Elections contends that a cover sheet is necessary for administrative convenience, that cannot outweigh the right to ballot access in the current unique circumstances,” the ruling mentioned.

“In other contexts, courts have recently recognized the difficulties presented by the pandemic and the need to suspend deadlines in light of the health crisis.”

Puliafio, 62, had a very good shot of claiming the seat for the GOP after the elections board knocked Seawright off the Democratic and WFP traces. But Seawright, a well-liked three-term incumbent, will probably breeze to re-election if she retains the ballot traces.