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Oct 8, 2013 11:39 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Conservative Party Recount Request Denied After Improper Votes Were Discovered

Oct 9, 2013 12:01 PM

Former Southampton Town supervisor candidate Phil Keith revealed this week that in the days after the Conservative Party primary last month, it was discovered that two registered Republicans appeared to have cast write-in ballots illegally in a race decided by a single vote.

Held on September 10, the primary was open to members of the Conservative Party only. On September 20, the party’s leadership asked for a recount of the ballots on the basis of evidence pointing to two fraudulent votes, but the request was turned down by the Suffolk County Board of Elections.

Mr. Keith—who revealed the incident in his “Mostly Right” column in this edition of The Southampton Press—and Conservative Party leaders chose not to file a court challenge to the election results, which were certified by the Board of Elections on September 24.

Republican Linda Kabot won the primary by a single vote, 73-72, over Mr. Keith. All votes were cast by write-in ballot.

“The Suffolk County Conservative Party made this request on behalf of the candidate,” Southampton Town Councilman Jim Malone, the head of the Conservative Party in the town, said this week of the objections raised. “What [the BOE] expressed was that with the time constraints between September 23 and the drop-dead date of October 1, they were powerless to take any action. Even if there was judicial intervention, even if it was immediate, the BOE could not put a new primary together in seven days. So, at the end of the day, there was no remedy.”

The Board of Elections certified the results of the vote after reviewing other challenges, also filed by Conservative Party leaders, to six votes cast in favor of Ms. Kabot that were questioned because they misspelled or left out some part of Ms. Kabot’s name.

But a letter to the Board of Elections, which was shared with The Press this week by the Conservative Party, pointed out two irregularities in the voter participation rolls submitted by poll workers the night of the primaries that may have compromised the integrity of the votes cast in two election districts. The voter participation rolls contained the names of one voter in Election District 9, which is in Hampton Bays, and another in Election District 28, which comprises parts of North Sea and northern Southampton. According to the letter, neither voter is a registered Conservative, but both appear to have been given ballots for the Conservative race by the polling place workers nonetheless.

There were two Republican races on the ballot on primary night, for Suffolk County sheriff and district attorney, in which only Republican Party members were to be allowed to cast ballots. The ballots for the respective races were different, in both color and content, containing columns only for the races each party was mounting that night. To receive a party ballot, voters would have had to identify themselves to poll workers as members of the party and asked to be given a ballot for that party’s vote.

Board of Elections officials declined to comment on the questions of improper voting having taken place.

There is no way to determine from the ballots how the two men voted, since the actual ballots are not marked in way that could identify who cast them. Neither could be reached for comment this week.

In Election District 9, there were three votes cast for Ms. Kabot, one for Mr. Keith, and one for another name. In Election District 28, there were four votes cast for Mr. Keith, four for Ms. Kabot, and two for other names.

Ms. Kabot said that she was not aware of the accusation of impropriety in the voting. Mr. Keith said in his column that he does not think the former supervisor could have been aware of it.

By winning the primary, Ms. Kabot won the right to have her name placed on the Conservative Party line in the supervisor column on the November 5 ballot, even though she did not have the support of the party’s leadership. Her Republican Party running mates, Jeff Mansfield and Stan Glinka, also will have their names on the party’s line, by virtue of their endorsements by the party’s county chairman, Ed Walsh.

Ms. Kabot successfully had the party’s chosen supervisor candidate, Howard Heckman III, disqualified as a candidate for not having enough valid signatures on a nominating petition, then forced the write-in primary.

One week before the primary vote, the party’s leadership said that it was supporting Mr. Keith as the name it would prefer that party members write in for the supervisor’s post, rather than Ms. Kabot’s.

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Mr. Malone really doesn't want Ms. Kabot running on the Conservative Party line, does he? Looking forward to the debate between Ms. Kabot and Ms. Thorne-Holst. Hopefully it will be recorded and available online after the fact as well for those unable to make it in person.
By davidf (325), hampton bays on Oct 8, 13 11:46 AM
"Honest Jim" Malone is a caricature of the sleazy politician. He made the position of councilman a sinecure, only showing up when it didn't interfere with his "real" job. In private life, he stiffed a contractor and then falsely imprisoned him when the latter appeared at his "real" office to ask for payment. His persona is so notorious and noxious that a reelection bid was pointless and he declined to run. Now, just before he departs our town forever (Well, one can hope.) to study at the DeVry ...more
Oct 8, 13 12:33 PM appended by highhatsize
to Nature: "A local contractor has accused Southampton Town Councilman Jim Malone of locking him in Mr. Malone’s Suffolk County office and yelling at him during a confrontation over unpaid work at Mr. Malone’s Hampton Bays home. ... " - the Southampton Press, January 10, 2012 " A person commits false imprisonment when he commits an act of restraint on another person which confines that person in a bounded area." - Cornell University Law School Can you think of a better description of the accusation than "false imprisonment"? Moreover, if you think that accusations should not be referred to until a court has pronounced on them, kindly take a stab at restraining your own incessant, specious harangues that fail to meet this test.
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Oct 8, 13 12:33 PM
3 members liked this comment
I hate to defend Malone here, because he is a jerk, but talk about unsubstantiated baloney:

"In private life, he stiffed a contractor and then falsely imprisoned him when the latter appeared at his "real" office to ask for payment"

Oh really? Is that what he was charged with? Is that what a jury/judge convicted him of? Or is that the spin you're putting on it? There's no need to exaggerate the jerkdom that is Malone. But when you make stuff up it decredits you (not that you have ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Oct 8, 13 12:47 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Oct 8, 13 12:47 PM
HHS - I'm aware of the accusation, but it's just that; an accusation.

You say, "kindly take a stab at restraining your own incessant, specious harangues that fail to meet this test."

Example your honor??
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Oct 8, 13 2:44 PM
I love Kabot white sharp cheddar.
By Observannt (4), southampton on Oct 8, 13 1:19 PM
Sir, if you are to impersonate me in these commentaries, you have to leap beyond single digit IQ utterances and neanderthal grunts.

You should stick to Tuckahoe school board meetings where you're usually in great company. And please, learn how to spell my name - Obbservant with a double b and a single n, not your single b and double n.
By Obbservant (449), southampton on Oct 9, 13 12:35 AM
Let's go Linda
By photo friend (31), southampton on Oct 8, 13 7:37 PM
2 members liked this comment
You might want to change that headline to something like "Three week old story that didn't go anywhere".

Or we could suggest it be filed under "rush to misjudgment".

Yes, losing is a blow to the ego. But elections need finality and then we move on. Doesn't matter who we are

By NTiger (543), Southampton on Oct 8, 13 8:33 PM
Mr. Wright

Who exactly discovered improper votes.

It certainly was not the Board of Elections

Isn't more factual to state improper votes were alleged. Mssrs. Malone and Keith can allege anything they want. It does not make it a fact.

The entire matter could have been litigated and determined well within the time constraints of the Election Law if timely brought.

My experience as an election attorney and as an elections commissioner leaves me quite ...more
By NTiger (543), Southampton on Oct 8, 13 9:06 PM

According to the account we were given, the purportedly inappropriate votes were discovered by the party's county chairman, Ed Walsh.

The story, as stated, only reports what is alleged in the letter, though copies of the VPR sheets and party registration rolls that we were given by the Conservative Party this week do seem to substantiate the claims. We know the names of the two men alleged to have voted improperly but chose not to identify them in the story.

But, ...more
By Michael Wright (25), Southampton on Oct 9, 13 1:25 PM

Thank you for your explanation and for reading my comments.

My opinion as expressed elsewhere in this string of comments remains unchanged.

As an aside if you had been present at the re-canvass you would have seen a number of Conservative Committee members who evidently wrote in their own names rather than that of Ms. Kabot or Mr. Keith. Had they adhered to the wishes of their party leadership Mr Keith with have been victorious.

I hope that the dedicated ...more
By NTiger (543), Southampton on Oct 10, 13 11:46 AM
Mr Keith took the high road in regards to this primary. However, if, after the fact it was determined that there was voter fraud, i.e. non-party members voting in a party primary, that pretty much changes the picture.
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Oct 8, 13 11:17 PM
1 member liked this comment
Due to the lack of parking at the EQ Elementary School it took me three trips before I could cast my vote. I had to wait until school was out before I could find a place to park. I wonder how many people decided it wasn't worth another trip to the polling place to cast their vote? Perhaps there needs to be a change in the polling place so those who want to vote can without having to make additional trips!!!
By crusader (391), East Quogue on Oct 9, 13 5:54 AM
to Nature:

One again, poor reading comprehension on your part has caused you to accuse me of misinformation. The news article on Honest Jim's false imprisonment of a contractor appeared in this newspaper. No one stated or implied that he was "convicted".

As for examples of your specious harangues, the times when you falsely asserted as "FACT that the Southampton Town Justice Court is the busiest Town court in the ENTIRE State of New York." (September 23, 2010), and your erroneous ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Oct 9, 13 10:37 AM
1 member liked this comment
Never once have I felt "embarassed" by my posts or actions Your honor. I'm a bit flattered you went through years of comments to cherry pick a couple of quotes which you actually didn't even quote properly and as such your attempts to "embarass me" fall completely on their face.

The article never stated that Mr. Malone falsley imprisoned anyway - that's a charge you fabricated. Never defeding Malone but you of course have to take issue with it because, it's your "nature". (see what ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Oct 9, 13 10:56 AM
An interesting read in Wikipedia on the D-K effect.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Oct 9, 13 11:02 AM
to Nature:

See, the Dunning-Kruger effect at work again. You leap to answer before verifying your facts. Your post about the Southampton Town Justice Court was erroneous, as was pointed out to you at the time. It is STILL erroneous. You persist in leaving out the qualifying phrase "one of" from your description of court activity. The quote from the township website is actually, "The Southampton Town Justice Court is ONE OF the busiest Justice Courts in the State." (emphasis added). ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Oct 9, 13 11:50 AM
HHS - if your assertion that "false imprisonment" are words of art, then I'll say my omission of "one of" is semantics. You're quibbling about nothing. My entire point in calling out your claim is that you discredit yourself when you make things up (or hyperbolize).

Dunning-Kruger is a net you're attempting to cast upon me in an effort to convince others that I am prone to inaccuracy and trumping up of facts or my own abilities. If all one needed to do was "open a random page" when ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Oct 9, 13 11:59 AM
From Hat's post above: "If you read more slowly with an eye towards a thorough comprehension rather than a superficial impression, and edited your own efforts more critically . . . "

Rings a bell?
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Oct 9, 13 12:02 PM
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Oct 9, 13 12:16 PM
Hat, are you following the conversation elsewhere?


By PBR (4956), Southampton on Oct 9, 13 5:12 PM
Thank you for expanding and clarifying this article.

The headline is now clearly fit for a tabloid but not the award winning Southampton Press.

In fact the story now boils down to a couple of republicans MAY have voted in the Conservative Primary, and MAY have voted for either Kabot or Keith or someone else entirely. No one knows if any non-Conseratives actually did vote, and if they did NO ONE KNOWS for whom they may have voted.

This explains why no one brought the matter ...more
By NTiger (543), Southampton on Oct 9, 13 11:44 AM
Methinks he doth protest too much.
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Oct 10, 13 2:37 PM
I hope all of you will read my "Mostly Right" column tonight or tomorrow, and you'll see how all this got started. On Friday, I'll give you the details of the chronology and where I think we are now.
By Capt. Phil (64), Southampton on Oct 9, 13 12:51 PM
1 member liked this comment
Liked your column, Captain. What's the additional input you speak of in the above post?
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Oct 12, 13 10:41 AM