Dan Hust | Democrat
Deputy Elections Commissioners Pam Murran and Ann Prusinski (on the right side of the counter) take challenge after challenge on Thursday (from the left) from Voters for Election Integrity Attorney Jim Walsh, Founder David Sager and Consultant Jonathan Hyman.
Bethel voter registrations challenged
By Dan Hust
MONTICELLO Following a press conference Thursday, leaders of Voters for Election Integrity (VEI) walked into a cram-packed Board of Elections office in Monticello to deliver formal challenges against more than 150 newly registered voters in the Town of Bethel.
VEI is contesting the validity of voters who have listed their addresses as bungalow colonies unwinterized, unheated summer homes in Bethel that the state Department of Health deems temporary residences.
Citing state law requiring voters to register where they have a permanent and principal residence with deep and significant attachments to the community, VEI organizers have drummed up support, both financially and philosophically, over the past few weeks.
That turned into action on Thursday, when VEI founder Legislator David Sager, coordinator Jonathan Hyman and attorney Jim Walsh submitted the challenges as the first round of what may become a court case or even a full-blown investigation by the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office into the validity of these voters’ listed residences.
Democratic Elections Commissioner Faith Kaplan couldn’t say much about the challenges yesterday, except that she and Republican Elections Commissioner Rodney Gaebel will follow up, along with the County Attorney’s Office.
“Rodney and I are looking into it,” she said, noting that such a challenge has not been mounted in the county in years.
County Attorney Sam Yasgur could not yet specify what the next step may be, but it certainly won’t happen before Election Day this year.