Judge tosses Fischer suit challenging Dem primary results

10/04/2011 7:53 PM |

A state Supreme Court judge on Tuesday threw out a lawsuit challenging the results of the Sept. 13 Democratic primary results in Riverhead Town.

The lawsuit was filed by Greg Fischer, who ran a primary for supervisor against Democratic committee nominee Phil Cardinale, and Ruth Pollack, who ran a primary for a Town Council nomination against party designees Marlando Williams and Matt Van Glad.

The lawsuit filed by Mr. Fischer and Ms. Pollack sought to have a hand recount of the election results, citing a glitch in the election night counting results. Some media outlets reported the election night results with Mr. Cardinale, Ms. Pollack and Mr. Williams as winners, the pair pointed out.

The lawsuit named the Board of Elections and it’s commissioners as defendants, along with the three Democratic candidates.

In his ruling, Judge Weber wrote, “audit returns from the Suffolk County Board of Elections indicated that there were no discrepancies” in the vote count, and that “neither of the petitioners have demonstrated the existence of any material discrepancy likely to impact the result of the election.

“Instead, petitioners cite erroneous reports from Newsday and Channel 12 news covering the night of the primary, on Sept. 13, 2011, which they assert showed them as the winning candidates, or at least, competitive in their respective races.”

Judge Weber said there “is no reason to take news reports from such sources as the truth for any purpose, much less proof in any court of law.

“Moreover, the return shows the mandatory audit of the scanners was performed and revealed no discrepancies in so far as these election results are concerned.”

The election night results originally posted on the county Board of Elections’ website showed only 88 votes for supervisor with all 22 districts having been reported. The Board of Elections eventually took those results down, and issued a press release stating, “The vote tabulating machines worked impeccably, however, there was a situation with the result transfer system.”

It then spent most of the next day tabulating he results, which it did not post until just after 5 p.m. that Wednesday, Sept. 14.

Those results, which were recently certified, showed the three party designees winning.

However, the results posted on the BOE web site the night of the primary showed Ms. Pollack with the top vote total in the council race.

tgannon@timesreview.com