ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)– In a virtual press conference on Tuesday, New York Democratic Chairman, Jay Jacobs, as well as with three other state democratic lawmakers called for more answers after gubernatorial candidate, Lee Zeldin’s campaign submitted photocopied signatures in a filing for the Independence Party line.
“The requisite number of signatures, as you know, were 45,000,” said Jacobs. “The petitions that were submitted by Lee Zeldin— his campaign, were all put together at Republican Headquarters by Republicans we assume, but do not know for certain, fell short of that number because 11,000 of them were potentially fraudulent. What happened, of course, is they were copying pages of signatures and interspersing them throughout the entire multi-page, very heavy, thick amount of pages to try to fool those looking at them to give them the sense that they had met the requisite number of 45,000.”
According to Republicans, this was just a mistake. A New York State GOP spokesperson released a statement which stated in part:
“There were more than 20 volunteers, interns, and staff who were frantically pulling together the hundreds of pages of signatures. Whether for record keeping or data entry purposes, it is a very common procedure for copies to be made of petitions by campaigns and even individuals who gather signatures. The process was chaotic and as a result, copies of the valid signatures were inadvertently included in the filing. The mistake was acknowledged and the Board’s decision to rule the petitions invalid was accepted with no further action taken.”
Democrats say Zeldin needs to say who is responsible and further explain what happened. Earlier this month, Senator Zellnor Myrie sent a letter to the Albany County District Attorney asking for an investigation into Zeldin’s campaign.
Zeldin’s campaign released a statement denying knowing of or making any photocopies and said “Hochul is desperate for any distractions she can possibly muster…”