Local News: November 14, 2023

- Ithaca write-in candidate has his affidavit ballot thrown out for wrong address -

There’s more news about the Fourth Ward write-in candidacy of Cornell student Patrick Kuehl. His affidavit ballot was rejected by the Tompkins County Board of Elections. Kuehl launched a last-minute, write-in campaign for a Common Council seat in the Fourth Ward. He got 12 votes on election day, enough to challenge incumbent Jorge DeFendini in a low-turnout race. Until election day DeFendini was running unopposed. The Ithaca Voice reports that Kuehl’s ballot was rejected because he gave an address that is outside the Fourth Ward. The Ithaca Voice says it has confirmed his actual residence is in the Ward.

That’s not the only discrepancy Kuehl is having to answer for relating to his campaign. Kuehl says he was openly running for the seat and that he was canvassing in the Ward for six weeks before election day. The Cornell Sun reports that Kuehl told one of their reporters on October 11 that he was not running for Common Council. He now tells the Sun he didn’t decide until October 22 to launch his write-in bid. The Sun reports freshman and Fifth Ward candidate Clyde Lederman was helping Kuehl with his campaign. Lederman has denied that is true.

Lederman is facing his own close race against Jason Houghton for a Fifth Ward seat. Houghton leads that race by about 16 votes. Both the Fourth and Fifth Ward seats will be determined after affidavit and absentee ballots have been counted. The results are expected on Wednesday.

- Southern Tier races too close to call until affidavit and absentee ballots counted -

Ithaca isn’t the only place where elections will be decided by absentee and affidavit ballots. WSKG Public Radio reports that in Chemung and Broome counties, several races for city councils and other positions are too close to call. The Finger Lake Times reports that in Seneca County the Seneca Falls and Geneva city council and judge posts are also call.

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