NY Election Official Resigns After Monthslong Delay in Race

UTICA, N.Y. (AP) -

A county elections official who was faulted for errors that led to a three-month wait for a New York congressional race to be decided has resigned.

The Utica Observer-Dispatch reports that Oneida County Democratic Elections Commissioner Carolann Cardone submitted a letter of resignation Tuesday.

Cardone and her Republican counterpart in Oneida County, Rose Grimaldi, had been blamed for some of the record-keeping and tabulation errors that delayed the certification of Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney’s win in the November 2020 election until this month.

Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente Jr. sent a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Feb. 9 requesting Cardone’s and Grimaldi’s removal over vote-counting errors. A phone number listed for Grimaldi was busy Wednesday.

Cardone resigned effective March 2 and said her decision was not an easy one.

“I have truly enjoyed my tenure and am grateful for the opportunity to serve the Board of Elections and the relationships I have made over the past 31 years with the County,” Cardone said in her letter.

In his letter to Cuomo, Picente highlighted findings by state Supreme Court Justice Scott DelConte, who oversaw a review of the ballot count in Tenney’s race, that the Oneida County board had failed to comply with state and federal law.

“Most disturbingly, Justice DelConte found that the failures of the Election Commissioners resulted in the failure to cast as many as 1,100 legitimate ballots and the rejection of an unknown number of voters who went to polling places and were turned away,” Picente wrote.

Tenney was sworn in last Thursday after DelConte ruled that she had defeated Democrat Anthony Brindisi by 109 votes. Brindisi had unseated Tenney in 2018 in New York’s 22nd Congressional District, which runs down the middle of the state from Lake Ontario to the Pennsylvania border.

Local political parties make recommendations for election commissioners in New York, with the appointments made by the county legislative body. Grimaldi and Cardone both earned salaries of $85,165 in 2020.