Town of Ramapo wins court battle to have last year’s ward vote ballots counted

The Appellate Division of New York Supreme Court this week overturned Supreme Court Judge Margaret Garvey’s ruling last fall that the ballots from the Sept. 30, 2014 special election on ward voting in the Town of Ramapo should be thrown out and a new election ordered.

Garvey had determined that the town failed to provide appropriate instructions on who was eligible to vote and how to vote via absentee ballot and so the election must be ruled invalid. The Appellate Division ruled unanimously that she did not have the authority to make the decision and that the votes cast must first be counted before any further challenges were made.

The Town of Ramapo  was challenged in court by longtime GOP activist and candidate for several offices Bob Romanowski and 2013 Preserve Rockland candidate for town supervisor Michael Parietti. Romanowski and Parietti had worked for two years through the legal system to force a vote on the ward system, which would change council seating from four council seats selected from the vote of the entire town, to six specific council districts. Neither Parietti or Romanowski are trained lawyers.

Parietti is running this year on a fusion ticket, including the backing of the GOP, against incumbent supervisor Chris St. Lawrence.

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