NYS Senate candidate Greenberg off the ballot due to invalid signatures 

Gary Greenberg

ALBANY COUNTY — New York State Senate 46th District candidate Gary Greenberg has lost his position on the ballot for the June 23 Democratic primary following a challenge by Rensselaerville Democratic Chairman Hébert Joseph over the number of signatures Greenberg collected for his petition. 

The decision was made on April 27 by the New York State Board of Elections. Greenberg told The Enterprise that he immediately filed a motion in the New York State Supreme Court — the lowest level court in the state’s three-tiered system — to fight his way back onto the ballot.

The first hearing is scheduled this Friday, May 1. 

“They are trying to subvert a race of two candidates,” Greenberg said, referring to Joseph, who he says is a proxy for Democrat Michelle Hinchey, his primary opponent. “Now what’s Michelle Hinchey scared of?”

Hinchey of Saugerties is the daughter of the late United States Congressman Maurice Hinchey, and is backed by the Democratic committees of each of the five counties covered totally or partially by the 46th District (Greene, Montgomery, Albany, Schenectady, and Ulster).

Greenberg, who lives in Greene County, is a child-victims advocate, having been one himself.

The incumbent senator, Republican George Amedore, is not seeking re-election. Conservative Richard Amedure, of Rensselaerville, is running for the 46th on the Republican line and is seeking the Independence, Conservative, and Serve America Movement lines. Robert D. Alft Jr. is running on the Green Party line. In addition to the Democratic line, Hinchey is seeking the Working Families and Serve America Movement lines.

New York State Senate petitions are typically required to have at least 1,000 signatures from registered voters to secure a candidate’s place on the ballot. Because of the coronavirus, Governor Andrew Cuomo temporarily lowered that threshold to 300 signatures. 

Greenberg submitted his petition with 337 signatures — a number that he told The Enterprise in March was hard to get under the circumstances. By the time the petitions were reviewed by a State Board of Elections hearing official, only 291 of those signatures were considered valid. 

Hinchey told The Enterprise in March that she submitted a petition with more than 2,500 signatures. Her campaign could not immediately be reached for comment on Greenberg’s removal from the ballot, nor his ensuing legal challenge.

Greenberg expressed frustration this week over “petty” complaints about the signatures, such as sloppily written dates and incorrect locations, that were nevertheless significant enough to render the signatures invalid. 

“There’s people that think they live in [the village of] Voorheesville and it’s [the town of] New Scotland,” Greenberg told The Enterprise, explaining how a voter can unwittingly put down incorrect personal information. “Or they put Slingerlands, their mailing address, but they live in Guilderland.” 

Greenberg, who will be represented by attorney John Sweeney, said that he’s confident his name will be on the ballot. 

“I promise when I’m elected as Senator,” he said, “I will make ballot access easier for residents.”

 

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