Voigt v. The N.Y. State Bd. of Elections, Index No. 904208-22

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court (New York)
Writing for the CourtHENRY F. ZWACK, J.
Citation2022 NY Slip Op 22193
PartiesIn the Matter of the Application of Andrew Voigt and DAVID SCHREIBER, Citizen-Objector, Petitioners, v. The New York State Board of Elections, REBECCA SHIROFF, a purportedly designated State Senate candidate of the Republican party and BENEDICTE DORAN AND DEBRA CODY, the individuals who constituted the majority of the Committee to Fill Vacancies that issued a Certificate of Substitution to fill a vacancy in the Republican Party designation for the office of New York State Senator in the 55th Senate District, Respondents.
Docket NumberIndex No. 904208-22
Decision Date22 June 2022

2022 NY Slip Op 22193

In the Matter of the Application of Andrew Voigt and DAVID SCHREIBER, Citizen-Objector, Petitioners,
v.

The New York State Board of Elections, REBECCA SHIROFF, a purportedly designated State Senate candidate of the Republican party and BENEDICTE DORAN AND DEBRA CODY, the individuals who constituted the majority of the Committee to Fill Vacancies that issued a Certificate of Substitution to fill a vacancy in the Republican Party designation for the office of New York State Senator in the 55th Senate District, Respondents.

Index No. 904208-22

Supreme Court, Albany County

June 22, 2022


Greenberg Traurig Attorneys for Petitioners Robert M. Harding, Esq., of counsel

Messina, Perillo and Hill, LLP Attorneys for Respondents, Rebecca Shiroff, Benedicte Doran and Debra Cody John Ciampoli, Esq., of counsel

HENRY F. ZWACK, J.

In this Election Law proceeding, the petitioners Andrew Voigt and David Schreiber now challenge a Certificate of Substitution filed with the respondent New York State Board of Elections ("Respondent-Board") designating the respondent Rebecca Shiroff ("Shiroff") as a Republican Party candidate for the public office of State Senator for the 50th Senatorial District in the primary election to be held on August 23, 2022. The petitioners also seek an order enjoining and restraining the Respondent-Board from certifying the candidacy of Shiroff and placing her name on the August 23, 2022 ballots in the Republican Party primary election for the 50th Senatorial District. The respondents Rebecca Shiroff, Benedicte Doran, and Debra Cody oppose, variously asserting that the petitioners failed to name a necessary party, that the instant proceeding is premature, deny the petitioner's allegations, and have cross moved for a change venue/consolidation with a matter pending in Steuben County (Harkenrider v Hochul, Steuben County Index No. E2022-0116 CV). The petitioners oppose the cross motion for change of venue/consolidation.

For the procedural reasons that follow the Court denies the petition to invalidate the Substitution Certification. The cross motion for a change of venue/consolidation is denied as academic.

By way of factual background, on May 27, 2022, consistent with an Order of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Steuben County, Index No. E2022-0116CV (the "McAllister Order"), Fanny Villarreal ("Villarreal") filed with the State Board of Elections a "Certificate of Designation for the August 23, 2022 Primary Election Ballot" - having previously filed a designating petition to run as a Republican for State Senator, Senate District 55. Villarreal further states in the Designation Certificate that the prior designation should be directed for "New York State Senator, Senate District 50." Villarreal contemporaneously filed a "Certificate of Declination," stating that, although she had been designated as a candidate for the "50th Senate District," she declined that designation. Also on May 27, 2022, individuals...

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