It’s been six months since the polls closed, but a candidate for Troy City Council is still looking for a definitive answer to the outcome of the election.
Carmella Mantello, who ran for an At Large seat last November, filed an Article 78 (see below) in state Supreme Court demanding the Rensselaer County Board of Elections cough up the backup, paper records of votes that were cast on electronic voting machines.
Mantello, who lost to Councilwoman Lynn Kokpa by some 60 votes, doesn’t think any review of the paper records will change the ultimate outcome of the race, but thinks she, like any candidate for office, should have the right to review the results.
In this case, she has reason. According to emails Mantello got through using the state Freedom of Information Act, there were problems with the machines and the board and the vendor were trying to work them out as late as Oct. 9, 2013. Yet, the Board of Election used the new machines anyway despite ongoing issues with the way they scanned the paper ballots.
See emails from Board of Elections employee Kevin O’Malley and Mike Nicholas, a representative from Dominion Voting by clicking here.
Previously, Board of Elections Commissioners Ed McDonough and Larry Bugbee, a Democrat and Republican respectively, said they would turn over the paper records but only if Mantello filed what they called the necessary paperwork in court.
She jumped through the hoops. So now it’s up to the board to not only stand by its word but follow through with what should be little more than common courtesy to anyone who sticks their neck out and runs for public office – full and unfettered access to the ballots.
The board has until May 29 to respond to the Article 78. As I said, I don’t think it can change anything, but Mantello certainly has the right to know as does the public.