OSSINING, N.Y. – Ossining Town Board candidate Aaron Spring will be removed from the Republican party line for November’s elections after a Westchester County court ruled that multiple nominating petition sheets were invalid and permeated with fraud.
According to the court, the witness to numerous Republican petition sheets “filed false witness statements. Moreover, Spring actively participated in the fraud ... because he knowingly obtained and filed signatures that she had not witnessed and conspired to pass them off as authenticated.”
Spring was not a registered voter at the time of petition collection, and, being unable by law to authenticate the signatures himself, had needed a registered voter to accompany him to bear witness to the petition signatures.
The court stated that the witness and “Spring confirmed that they knew that a subscribing witness had to both see the signatures being affixed to the petition and have the signatories identify themselves."
However, Spring’s testimony that they did just that and acted within the confines of the law was deemed by the court “impossible to believe.”
The court’s decision stated that Spring “participated in the fraud and is chargeable with knowledge of that fraud.” Therefore, nearly 150 of the 343 total signatures collected by the Republican slate of Ossining town candidates were permeated with fraud, which will result in Spring's removal from the Republican line of the ballot in advance of November’s elections. However, he will still appear on the Conservative party line.
Candidates seeking elected office in Ossining are required by State law to obtain a certain number of signatures from registered voters on a nominating petition, and those signatures must be witnessed by a registered voter.
"Election laws form the backbone of our democracy and are essential in ensuring a level playing field exists for all candidates," said Thomasina Laidley-Brown, chairwoman of the Ossining Democratic Party. "As Ossining Democratic Party officials, we have an obligation to report fraudulent actions that attempt to undermine the Democratic process. The court’s ruling further justifies what our party already knows, that election laws must be followed by ALL candidates seeking to represent the people of Ossining.”
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