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SEP 15 - SEP 22, 2015

Choolokian Committee Pressing
Recusal of Election Commissioners

SEP 15, 2015

A sign on the mayor's father's lawn points voters to the locale for voting.

 

The Committee to elect Glenn Choolokian for Mayor issued a press release on Sunday evening announcing that Choolokian was not conceding defeat in his Democratic primary bid for Mayor of Niagara Falls and that they planned to monitor the counting of the remaining ballots.

The unofficial results show incumbent Mayor Paul A. Dyster with a 73 vote lead out of more than 4,000 votes cast with 188 absentee ballots yet to be opened and counted which is scheduled to occur on Friday.

Along with the absentee ballots, are an unknown, but likely small number of affidavit ballots. Affidavit ballots are those signed by people who came to vote but were not on the list of eligible voters and signed affidavits to be considered for the opportunity to vote. Their votes will be reviewed on a case by case bass and a determination of voter eligibility will be made. Those deemed improperly denied the right to vote will have their votes counted in this race.

Choolokian is also considering a legal challenge to prompt a recount of all ballots since the margin between the two candidates is under 2 percent and may narrow when the absentee and affidavit ballots are counted.

“Based on Thursday numbers it is evident that the residents are dissatisfied with the current Mayor,” Choolokian’s campaign release stated.

Suggesting that a recount process is necessary, Sam Archie, campaign manager for Choolokian, is seeking more.

He wants the entire process of opening absentee ballots and reviewing affidavit ballots to be scrutinized not just by representatives of both candidates but said he would prefer the process be removed from the Niagara County Board of Elections saying the political apparatus of Niagara County – both Republican and Democrat, favors the incumbent mayor for disparate reasons.

Archie said, “The Republican Party would much rather face Dyster than face Glenn Choolokian in the general election. The Democratic Party naturally would like their endorsed candidate to be in the general election.”

The committee wants Democratic Election Commissioner Lora Allen and Republican Commissioner Jennifer Fronzcak to recuse themselves from the oversight process.

Archie argued that Allen‘s husband, Rev. Ray Allen, was “recently given a job by the Dyster administration.”

Rev. Allen told the Reporter that he was hired in 2012, through normal city hiring procedures, as a community liaison for the Niagara Falls Police Department – a part time job – and that his hire was approved not by Mayor Dyster but by then police superintendent John Chella.

 “Both Election commissioners have motive for the results to stand,” Archie said. “Our primary concern is the opening of all remaining ballots be done on an even playing field. We are asking both election commissioners to recluse themselves from the entire process as this election is too important to let outside influences cloud any judgment on the validity of those ballots.”

The Choolokian committee retained Williamsville attorney Thomas E. Webb Jr. to represent their interests in the oversight of absentee and affidavit ballots and if necessary to pursue a possible legal challenge for an order to show cause for a recount.


As the chart shows- one polling area- with its single machine - was the margin of victory for Mayor Paul Dyster.

 

 

 

 

 

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