Troy candidate files postal vote complaint with AG


TROY – A Democratic candidate for city council filed a complaint with the state attorney general’s office, claiming the Rensselaer County Republican Elections Commissioner shredded a mail-in ballot he submitted.

The complaint, along with an audio recording made by Steven Figueroa, a candidate for the council’s 2nd district, sent Democrats in the city scrambling to make sure they don’t lose absent voters to Republican candidates. .

Figueroa said he learned that Rodney Wiltshire, a Republican candidate for the county legislature as well as a former Democratic city councilor, had cast a mail-in ballot from the same voter Figueroa had obtained a ballot.

Figueroa said he went to the county electoral council office to check the 100 ballots he had submitted and quickly found that the ballot in question was not the one he had. deposit. He said he marked each envelope so he could identify them.

Figueroa said he asked about the gap when recording on his cell phone and Republican Election Commissioner Jason Schofield said he destroyed the ballot. Schofield can be heard saying the ballot was shredded.

Figueroa said he then filed the complaint with the state.

Assembly member John McDonald, D-Cohoes, said he had met with representatives from the GA office and they were investigating. McDonald’s expressed concerns about the management of mail ballots and the impact on races through the ballot.

A spokesperson for the state attorney general, Letitia James, declined to comment on the Troy case, saying the office did not confirm or deny the investigations.

Schofield said the ballot cast by Wiltshire was recorded first and the second was destroyed. He said there had never been a situation where the same voter ‘s ballots were cast by different candidates. He apologized for destroying the ballot cast by Figueroa.

The voter in question went to the county’s early voting site at Atrium Troy with Figueroa and voted in person, invalidating the postal ballot. Figueroa and Schofield confirmed that the voter voted in person.

Wiltshire said he knew nothing about the incident. Wiltshire said he would go to voters he knew from previous campaigns for mail-in ballots. He went with candidates affiliated with Republicans.

Rensselaer County had problems earlier this year when it was successfully sued by the Attorney General’s office and other parties to have an early polling place in downtown Troy for the general election that would be accessible to people without a vehicle.

McDonald and State Senator Neil Breslin, D-Bethlehem, backed a successful lawsuit that required an early voting site to be in Troy after the county board placed them in Brunswick and Schodack. In 2009, Democrats found themselves embroiled in a Working Families Party mail-in voting scandal that resulted in several convictions.

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