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The Saratogian Newsroom blog, complete with thoughts and commentary from our newsroom staff and regular posts on happenings around town.

Tuesday, March 31

20th CD - Skidmore intimidation update

Andrew has returned from Skidmore, and he says reports of voter intimidation are mostly unfounded.

Here's how he explained it to me: A Republican poll watcher, armed with a list of all student voters who had ORIGINALLY registered elsewhere (you know, their hometowns around the state/country) before they had registered here in Saratoga Springs, was challenging nearly every student, asserting they couldn't vote because they had originally registered elsewhere.

Poll inspectors on hand determined, by consulting with the County Board of Elections, that as long as a voter's name is in the poll book, they are allowed to vote at the voting machine, regardless of where else they might be registered. Of course, that the students cast their votes does not rule out the possibility of a challenge later on.

Two Democratic poll watchers were called in to keep things on the up-and-up, including Rich Kinney, an attorney and member of the state democratic committee, who said that since he's arrived at the poll, around 10 a.m., a few students had been required to vote by affidavit, but that voting was otherwise going along smoothly.

Sam Solomon, a first year student and Saratoga Springs native (and Caroline St. School alum, he said) was among those required to vote by affidavit. He said his registration had changed because he voted by absentee ballot in the last election, but added that the affidavit was not a big obstacle.

Apparently, there was another incident at Skidmore in which people conducting campaign activities on campus, and were told to scram, even though they were safely outside the poll's 100-foot cordon. Never a dull moment. When the proximity issue was resolved, canvassers returned in an effort to get out the vote. I'm not sure which party was responsible, but if I were a betting man, I'd say the canvassers were more likely blue than red.

As of 7 p.m., about 165 votes had been cast, in addition to 10 affidavits.


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