An expensive September primary election was held because Terry Gipson, the Democratic, Working Families and Women’s Equality parties’ nominee for New York State Senate District 41, wanted to be on the Green Party line in November.
New York state election law does not allow the consolidation of polling places beyond town boundaries, so towns across Dutchess County went through the process of setting up 48 polling places. Dutchess County Election Commissioner Erik Haight estimated the primary cost taxpayers about $100,000.
Because the Green Party doesn’t allow non-party members to circulate nominating petitions, a potential candidate has two options: either convince a Green Party member to circulate a petition or circulate an Opportunity to Ballot petition. By choosing the latter, Gipson forced a primary election.
At the time of the primary, there were 390 active registered Green Party voters in the county. Fifty-six turned out to vote, and 40 of them wrote in Gipson’s name. What a waste of taxpayer money.
Gipson had every right to run for office. However, forcing this primary so his name could appear on the Green Party line shows me a fiscally irresponsible candidate. Is having Gipson’s name appear a fourth time on the November ballot worth $100,000 to Dutchess County taxpayers? I don’t think so.
Edie Greenwood, North East
Greenwood is the chair of the Republican Committee of North East.
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