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July 10, 2020 - 1:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, 61st senate district, news, Elections.

CORRECTION 7:27 p.m.: We published the wrong tally of votes for NY-27 district special election candidate Duane Whitmer. It is 159, not 1,059. The Batavian regrets the error.

Unofficial ballot counts are done for Genesee County in the Democratic primary for the 61st State Senate and the NY-27 special election, according to Lorie Longhany, Democratic commissioner for the Board of Elections.

In the primary:

  • Kim Smith: 1,083
  • Joan Seamans: 796
  • Jacqualine Berger: 769

In the NY-27 special election:

  • Chris Jacobs: 6,127
  • Nate McMurray: 3,848
  • Duane Whitmer: 1,059  159
  • Michael Gammariello: 71
  • Write-ins for Beth Parlato: 188

The count of the NY-27 GOP primary has not yet been completed.

Longhany said that count along with official results should be released on Monday.

July 9, 2020 - 1:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Elections, NY-27, news, Chris Jacobs, Nate McMurray, Jacqualine Berger.

Not all the votes are counted yet -- delayed by the massive number of mail-in ballots filed -- but some candidates from the June 23 election are sounding confident of the outcome.

Chris Jacobs seems to believe he's won the NY-27 while Nate McMurray seems sure he's lost and Jacqualine Berger has declared victory in the Democratic primary for the 61st State Senate District.

Richard Siebert, the Republican commissioner for the Genesee County Board of Elections, said it will be 24 to 48 hours before local unofficial results will be released.

That said, based on what he's seen so far, it looks like McMurray will have 400 more votes locally from mail-in ballots than Jacobs in the special election to fill the unexpired term of convicted criminal Chris Collins. 

Siebert believes McMurray won every precinct in the City of Batavia.

Still, that won't be enough for McMurray to close the gap on in-person voting on June 23, when McMurray polled only 1,565 votes in Genesee County to 4,536 to Jacobs.

Results also aren't released yet for other counties but the campaigns typically have poll watchers in place during vote counting so they have some idea what to expect when tallies are released.

Last night, Jacobs released this statement:

"With the counting completed today and the outcome reaffirmed, I’m eager to get to work for the people of Western New York as their representative in Congress. I care deeply about this community and I will do all I can to serve it with honesty and integrity. I would also like to personally thank each Board of Election member and employee who worked tirelessly throughout this process and the entire election season. Conducting an election under these circumstances was challenging for all involved and I appreciate the sacrifices made.”

McMurray has not released a statement but he did tweet about the election outcome.

In the State Senate primary, Democrat Jan Berger released this statement:

Educator Jacqualine Berger has declared victory in the Democratic Primary Election to run for the New York State Senate seat vacated by longtime Republican State Senator Michael Ranzenhofer. Berger was victorious against Kim Smith, formerly of the Monroe County Department of Public Health, and Joan Elizabeth Seamans, a small-business owner. 

The race was too-close-to-call on the night of the election. After all the votes were tallied, Berger edged Smith by 141 votes. Berger received 9,246 votes (39%), while Smith earned 9,105 (38%) and Seamans received 5,475 votes (23%).  

“I am honored to have won this close election against two outstanding candidates. I congratulate both of my opponents for running strong campaigns under challenging circumstances,” said State Senate candidate Jacqualine Berger. “I am looking forward to the general election campaign, where we can work together to give the district the representation it deserves.”

Erie County Democratic Committee Chairman Jeremy Zellner said, “We endorsed Jacqualine Berger because she understands the needs of the 61st State Senate district. I am proud of her victory in the Primary Election and look forward to supporting her this fall. The Democratic Party is united like never before, and ready to take on the Republican extremists.”   

Jacqualine Berger is the Deputy Supervisor in the Town of Amherst and an educator at Empire State College. Berger has a master’s degree in Early Childhood and Special Education from Tulane University. She is a lifelong advocate for individuals with special needs, running a local Challenger Baseball program for children and adults with disabilities since 1991. In 2019, Empire State College awarded Berger the Altes Prize for Exemplary Community Service.

Berger will face politician Ed Rath in the election this fall.

June 23, 2020 - 1:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Elections, news.


The old joke is: Vote early and vote often.

In 2020, it's more than a joke.  

Voters in Genesee County received more than 7,000 absentee ballots over the past several weeks, and with elections that would normally be on different days consolidated into a single day, both Republicans and Democrats have multiple ballots to cast.

The turnout at local polling places today, said Dick Siebert, Republican election commissioner, has been light. That is likely due to all those voters who requested absentee ballots.

Siebert doesn't have a count on how many ballots have been returned so far, but while some in politics have expressed concern about the prospect of voter fraud from mail-in ballots, Siebert said there is no indication of fraud in Genesee County.

"I hear that nationally there have been reports in other counties, but not in Genesee County, of one person or one group asking for 350 ballots," Siebert said. "We don't have that problem in Genesee County. No representative or candidate has asked for as many as 15 or 20 ballots."

The potential problem with absentee ballots, Siebert said, is that there is no opportunity to check an ID of a voter the way polling workers could for a person voting at a designated polling place. That doesn't mean there isn't a way to help protect against voter fraud with absentee ballots but it's a lot more work, Siebert said.

Workers must pull the registration card for every voter who submits an absentee ballot and check the signature at the time of registration against the signature on the envelope containing the ballot.

For this election, even with an anticipated turnout of the more than the 25 to 30 percent that might be typical, it's going to take county staff some time to sort through all those ballots before they can be counted.

Siebert is worried about the general election in November when turnout is expected to top 80 percent. If the pandemic is still raging and people must still maintain social distances the number of absentee ballots to be verified and counted would be well beyond anything local officials ever had to deal with before.

"That would be a disaster," Siebert said. "The workload, the time it would take, if the same thing happens in the fall, we're going to be overwhelmed."

As it is, residents should not expect final election results tonight. This evening, results for today's in-person voting will be released after polls close at 9 p.m. but the absentee ballot count won't be finished until July.

If you haven't voted yet and go to a polling place today, masks are required.

Also, if you haven't dropped your absentee ballot in the mail yet, it's too late; however, you can drop it off at your neighborhood polling location.


March 16, 2020 - 2:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news, BOE, voters, Elections.

From Genesee County Board of Elections
Lorie Longhany and Dick Siebert

We realize there is great uncertainty concerning COVID-19 and how the spread of the coronavirus, the National Emergency and new State directives may affect the April 28th Special Election for Congress, the Presidential Primary and the nine days of Early Voting.

We at the Genesee County Board of Elections will communicate any changes so voters will be aware as soon as we are informed by the State Board of Elections. Understand that this situation is fluid and so are the changes that may precipitate as the days go on.

November 6, 2019 - 12:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Elections, news.
Video Sponsor

In a rare contested race for the full-time City Court judge's seat, Durin Rogers holds a lead over Ben Bonarigo and will likely be the winner once all of the absentee ballots are counted.

Rogers has 1,662 votes in the unofficial tally by the county elections office to 1,447 for Bonarigo, for a 215 vote difference.

There were 288 absentee ballots requested and 170 have been returned so far. Bonarigo would need to pick up nearly all of the absentee ballots to be declared the winner.

The other notable election result from Tuesday was in the City of Batavia's 3rd Ward, which incumbent John Canale won but a Libertarian Party candidate came in second. Canale, on the Republican line, received 260 votes. Deborah Kerr Rosenbeck received 166. Democratic candidate Nicholas Russo received 123. It might very well be the first time in City history that a third-party candidate outpolled a major party candidate.

In the other contested City Council race, in Ward 5, incumbent Kathy Briggs garnered 210 votes to 148 for challenger Sam DiSalvo.

In the one contested County Legislature race, in District 8, incumbent Marianne Clattenburg won with 684 votes to 159 for Colin McAllister.

In other contested races around the county:

  • Town clerk, Alexander: Lisa L. Lyons, 205, Shannon E. Tiede, 171
  • Town clerk, Bergen: Michele M. Smith, 467, Connie VanHoute, 146
  • Town council, Bethany (vote for 2): Jeffrey R. Fluker, 287, Timothy D. Embt, 265, Josiah Berkemeier, 141
  • Supervisor, Byron: Peter N. Yasses, 275, Gerald L. Heins, 270
  • Town justice, Darien (vote for 2): Gary A. Graber, 505, Jennifer R.  Nunnery, 459, Michelle M. Krzemien, 440
  • Highway superintendent, Pavilion: Joel M. Offhaus, 267, Doug Elliott, 71
  • Town justice, Pembroke: Donald M. O'Connor, 612, Joseph P. Iannello, 217

Check this post later for a video from the evening.

June 18, 2019 - 2:15pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia city court judge, Elections, Durin Rogers.

Submitted photo and press release:

The association representing Genesee County’s Corrections officers and other Sheriff’s employees has enthusiastically endorsed Durin Rogers (inset photo right) to become Batavia’s next full-time city court judge.

Genesee County Sheriff’s Employees Association (GCSEA) President Kevin Wolff cited several reasons supporting the decision to endorse Rogers, who is currently a part-time Batavia City Court judge.

“Judge Rogers’ enthusiasm and dedication to the bench, his family and our community is evident,” Wolff said. “[He] has extensive experience on the bench handling thousands of cases as a Batavia City Court Judge and has a proven track record.

"Judge Rogers’ multifaceted experience and steadfast integrity make him the obvious choice to be the next full-time city court judge.

"...Our endorsement also acknowledges Judge Rogers’ …ready availability to law enforcement day and night, seven days a week for after-hours arraignments and warrants…Judge Rogers is a shining example of what all citizens of Batavia should strive to be.”

The endorsements Rogers’ has received have caught the attention of many local Republicans according to local attorney and City Republican Chair David Saleh.

“I’ve been contacted by many Republicans from Batavia and around the county who have been very impressed by the support Judge Rogers’ is receiving,” Saleh said.

“He’s been endorsed by an impressive group of people including our county sheriff, our commissioner of social services, the head of Genesee Justice, the Genesee County attorney, the president of our city council and now the association representing so many of the employees of our Sheriff’s (Office).

"This all shows that Judge Rogers has proven himself as a fantastic lawyer and judge and he is the only candidate who can complete the full 10-year term. He has definitely earned the support of Batavia’s Republicans as our endorsed Republican candidate for the upcoming June 25th primary.”

June 18, 2019 - 2:15pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia city court judge, Elections, during rogers.

Press release:

The association representing Genesee County’s Corrections officers and other Sheriff’s employees has enthusiastically endorsed Durin Rogers (inset photo right) to become Batavia’s next full-time city court judge.

Genesee County Sheriff’s Employees Association (GCSEA) President Kevin Wolff cited several reasons supporting the decision to endorse Rogers.

“Judge Rogers’ enthusiasm and dedication to the bench, his family and our community is evident,” Wolff said. “[He] has extensive experience on the bench handling thousands of cases as a Batavia City Court Judge and has a proven track record. Judge Rogers’ multifaceted experience and steadfast integrity make him the obvious choice to be the next full-time city court judge.

"...Our endorsement also acknowledges Judge Rogers’ …ready availability to law enforcement day and night, seven days a week for after-hours arraignments and warrants…Judge Rogers is a shining example of what all citizens of Batavia should strive to be.”

The endorsements Rogers’ has received have caught the attention of many local Republicans according to local attorney and City Republican Chair David Saleh.

“I’ve been contacted by many Republicans from Batavia and around the county who have been very impressed by the support Judge Rogers’ is receiving,” Saleh said.

“He’s been endorsed by an impressive group of people including our county sheriff, our commissioner of social services, the head of Genesee Justice, the Genesee County attorney, the president of our city council and now the association representing so many of the employees of our Sheriff’s (Office).

"This all shows that Judge Rogers has proven himself as a fantastic lawyer and judge and he is the only candidate who can complete the full 10-year term. He has definitely earned the support of Batavia’s Republicans as our endorsed Republican candidate for the upcoming June 25thprimary.”

May 23, 2019 - 10:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Elections, news.

Press release:

Election law changes have resulted in an earlier Primary Election date. The Primary Election will be held on June 25th. Because of these calendar changes the following deadlines for registering to vote, if eligible, are the following:

May 31, 2019, is the last day to register in person at the Genesee County Board of Elections, which is located on the third floor of County Building #1, 15 Main St., Batavia, for the June 25th Primary Election.

Mail registration forms must be postmarked by May 31, 2019, and received by the Board of Elections no later than June 5, 2019.

Applications for absentee ballots must be postmarked by June 18, 2019. June 24, 2019, is the last day to apply in person at the Board of Elections for a Primary Election ballot. June 25, 2019 (Primary Election Day) is the last day to deliver a local Primary Election ballot in person to the County Board of Elections, by close of polls (9 p.m.). The Primary election will be held from 12 to 9 p.m..

There will be a Primary Election on June 25th in the following jurisdictions;

  • City of Batavia for City Court Judge on the Republican, Conservative and Independence line.
  • Town of Alexander for Town Clerk on the Republican line.
  • Town of Bergen for Town Clerk on the Republican line.
  • Town of Bethany for Town Justice on the Republican line.
  • Town of Byron for Highway Superintendent on the Conservative line (opportunity to ballot)
  • Town of Pembroke Town Justice on the Republican line.

There are no other Primaries in any other jurisdictions. You must be a registered party member to be eligible to vote in any of these local primaries.

April 18, 2019 - 10:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Elections, news, notify.

There's nothing "cast in concrete" yet, Information Technology Director Steve Zimmer told members of the County Legislature at the Ways and Means Committee meeting on Wednesday but New York State is considering requiring all counties in the state to segregate the computer networks of elections commissions from any other computer network in the county.

It's not clear yet, Zimmer said, exactly what the state will require but in Genesee County, at a minimum, that might mean a new high-speed Internet line going into County Building #1, where the election commission operates, with new switches, and taking the commission's computers off the network currently in that building.

That will cost at least $20,000, Zimmer said.

What he doesn't know is if he will also be required to install a separate fiber optic from County Building #1 to the main data center to further segregate the elections commission from the rest of the county network.

No official directive has been issued yet but Zimmer expects the state will mandate some change in advance of the 2020 election.

"Everyone is scared to death of the Russian hackers or that something is going to happen with the 2020 election, so the state is coming up with a lot of ‘what ifs’ and 'what do we need to do to improve security in local elections offices,' " Zimmer said.

February 17, 2019 - 3:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, Elections.

In almost blizzard-like conditions Genesee County Republicans came together at the Old Courthouse in Batavia to hold their endorsement meeting for the local November elections.

The committee members considered candidates for nine legislative districts, a county coroner seat and the county clerk.

Here is a list of the GOP endorsements for those offices:

  1. Genesee County Coroner – Jeffrey McIntire (incumbent) 4-year term
  2. Genesee County Clerk – Michael Cianfrini (incumbent) 4-year term
  3. County Legistlator District 1, Towns of Alabama & Oakfield – John Hilchey (incumbent) 2-year term
  4. County Legislator District 2, Towns of Bergen, Byron & Elba – Christian Yunker (replacing retiring 10-year Legislator Robert Bausch) 4-year term
  5. County Legislator District 3, Towns of Darien & Pembroke – Gordon Dibble (incumbent) 2-year term
  6. County Legislator District 4, Towns of Batavia and Stafford – Andrew Young (incumbent) 4-year term
  7. County Legislator District 5, Town of Le Roy – Rochelle Stein (incumbent) 2-year term
  8. County Legislator District 6, Towns of Alexander, Bethany & Pavilion – Gregg Torrey (incumbent) 4-year term
  9. County Legislator District 7, City of Batavia, Wards 1 & 6 – John Deleo (incumbent) 2-year term
  10. County Legislator District 8, City of Batavia, Wards 2 & 3 – Marianne Clattenburg (incumbent) 4-year term
  11. County Legislator District 9, City of Batavia, Wards 4 & 5 – Gary Maha (incumbent) 2-year term

This past November, voters in Genesee County approved four-year staggered terms for county legislators. This election will begin the process of staggering the terms.

January 30, 2019 - 11:59am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Elections, news.

Press release: 

The following information includes the changes to the political calendar that will affect candidates who wish to run for public office beginning this year. It also gives a summary of early voting. It is the Board of Elections' objective to give as much information to Genesee County residents so that implementing the new election laws will be as transparent and as seamless as possible.

  • Primary Election -- The primary election has been changed from mid-September to June 25, 2019. Going forward, the unified Primary date will now fall on the 4th Tuesday in June unless otherwise changed by the state legislature.
  • Petitions and Ballot Access -- The first day for signing designating petitions for public office is now Feb. 26, 2019, and the dates for filing petitions is April 1 – 4. These petition dates apply for the following designated Party lines based on the last Gubernatorial race; Democratic Party, Republican Party, Conservative Party, Working Families Party, Green Party, Libertarian Party, Independence Party and SAM Party.
  • Caucus Ballot Access -- For political Parties who are designated as a "caucus town" their nominating process will follow these dates -- the first day to hold a town caucus is Feb. 26 and the last to file certificates of nominations is July 25th.
  • Independent Petitions -- First day for signing Independent petitions is April 16, 2019. Dates for filing Independent petitions is May 21- 28.
  • Early Voting -- Early voting will be applicable for this year’s general election (Nov. 5, 2019) but not the primary election on June 25, 2019. In subsequent years early voting will be applicable for the primary election. The new law states that each county will provide, beginning on the 10th day prior to the general election and ending on and including the second day prior to the election, early voting at a polling location(s) to be determined by the County Board of Elections. This will include 9 days of early voting, five 8-hour weekdays which will include twoevening hours, and two 5-hour weekends ending the Sunday prior to the election. When these polling locations are determined they will be publicized in local media and on our website. 
November 8, 2017 - 9:04am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Election Results, Elections, news.

Here are the unofficial election totals as reported by the Genesee County Elections Commission

State Supreme Court Justice -- 8th Judicial District (Vote for 2)
Lynn Wessel Keane: 9,608

Erin M. Peradotto: 9406
There were 32 write-in votes.

District Attorney
Lawrence Friedman, 9101
There were 30 write-in votes.

County Legislature District 1
John Hilchey, 734

County Legislature District 2
Robert Bausch, 1,247

County Legislature District 3
Gordon Dibble, 1,373

County Legislature District 4
Andrew Young, 1,291

County Legislature District 5
Rochelle Stein, 1,404

County Legislature District 6
Gregg Torrey, 1,096

County Legislature District 7
John Deleo, 750

County Legislature District 8
Marianne Clattenburg, 608

County Legislature District 9
Edward DeJaneiro, 415
Gary Maha, 476

City Council At-Large (Vote for 3)
Eugene A. Jankowski, 1,437
Robert Bialkowski, 1,383
Adam Tabelski, 1,174
William Fava, 1,047
Bradley Eddy, 741
James Rosenbeck, 498
Lisa Whitehead, 492
Mark Potwora, 420

Town Justice, Alabama
Pamela J. Thurber, 299

Town Council, Alabama (Vote for 2)
Jill Klotzbach, 293
William Cleveland, 264

Town Council, Alexander (Vote for 2)
Eric Wagner, 344
David Miller, 358

Town of Batavia, Supervisor
Greg Post, 875

Town of Batavia, Town Clerk
Teressa Morasco, 953

Town of Batavia, Town Council, (Vote for 2)
Daniel Underhill, 882
Patti Michalak, 865

Town of Batavia, Town Highway Superintendent
Thomas Lichtenthal, 913

Town of Bergen, Supervisor
Ernest  Haywood, 517

Town of Darien, Town Council (Vote for 2)
Anne Sapienza, 339
Mark Anderson, 341
James Starowitz, 466

Town Justice, Bethany
Joseph D. Nowakowski, 148
Thomas R. McBride, 232

Town Council, Bethany (Vote for 2)
Daniel Street, 278
Diane Fowler, 263

Supervisor, Town of Byron
Gerald Heins, 143
Roger Rouse, 329

Town Clerk, Town of Byron
Debra Buck, 557

Town Justice, Town of Byron
Daniel M. DiMatteo, 486

Town Council, Town of Byron (Vote for 2)
Suzanne Fuller, 493
Jeffrey Thompson, 486

Town Highway Superintendent, Town of Byron
Brian Forsyth, 521

Town Clerk, Town of Darien
Alice Calmes, 529

Town Council, Town of Darien (Vote for 2)
David Krzemien, 337
Michael Fix, 434

Supervisor, Town of Elba
Donna Hynes, 293

Town Council, Town of Elba (Vote for 2)
Daniel Coughlin Jr., 314
Chantal Zambito, 239

Town Justice, Town of Le Roy
Micheal T. Welsh, 863
John R. Duyssen, 942

Town Council, Town of Le Roy (Vote for 2)
Ninja-Aileene M. Calhoun, 780
David Paddock, 967
Robert Stiles, 598
James Farnholz, 1,071

Supervisor, Town of Oakfield
Carol L. Glor, 409

Town Justice, Town of Oakfield
Thomas Graham, 435

Town Council, Town of Oakfield, (Vote for 2)
Kim Wolcott, 414
Matthew Martin, 396

Town Council, Town of Pavilion (Vote for 2)
Mark Heineman, 370
Donald Oberlin, 364

Town Justice, Town of Pembroke
Edwin F. Mileham Jr., 762

Town of Council, Town of Pembroke
Edward Arnold, 711
K. Warren Clark, 699

Town Clerk, Town of Stafford
Julie Scheuerlein, 441
Michelle McEwen, 170

Town Council, Town of Stafford
Jacqueline Cavanaugh, 232
Ronald Panek, 411
Robert Mattice, 413

Town Highway Superintendent, Town of Stafford
Steven Boldt, 529

November 7, 2017 - 1:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Elections, news.


It's Election Day. Polling stations are opened throughout Genesee County. Be sure to get out and vote.

November 5, 2017 - 7:50pm
posted by Maria Pericozzi in Le Roy, Elections, news.

There are two town council seats and one town justice seat that Le Roy residents will vote for on Tuesday.

John Duyssen and Mike Welsh are running for town justice, and Ninja-Aileene Calhoun, James Farnholz, Dave Paddock and Rob Stiles are running for town council.

Duyssen is one of several generations that has lived in Le Roy, and does not plan on going anywhere. He has been an active member of law enforcement, working all crime levels from felonies to violations, successfully prosecuting many cases. He retired from the Sherriff’s Office two years ago and said the position seems like a good fit.

“I’m pretty well respected by all the law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and defense attorneys,” Duyssen said.

As a town justice, the best thing to do is interpret the law and be prepared, Duyssen said.

“We need an unbiased view, to interpret the law on a case by case basis, and be prepared for every case that enters the courtroom,” Duyssen said.

Duyssen said ethics and standards are important as a town justice.

“I have a very sincere interest in the protection of my community.”

Welsh has served as the incumbent judge in Le Roy for the past four years. He was also a member of the Genesee County Legislature for 21 years, the village attorney for 17 years, and a practicing attorney for 40 years.

“I like being the judge and I am trying to do a good and honorable job with it,” Welsh said.

If elected, Welsh would like to accomplish fairness and justice in Le Roy, making the community a safe and secure place.

“I think it’s a very good thing to do, to be the judge in the town,” Welsh said. “You can help the community, you can do justice by applying the law to the facts.”

It is important to Welsh, to not bring prejudice to the bench.

“I try to honor the Constitution of the U.S. and New York by applying the law,” Welsh said. “I want to be fair, not prejudice, and hear each case based on its merits, and I think I do that.”

Farnholz has lived in Le Roy for the last 30 years with his wife and two children. He taught Social Studies at Le Roy High School for 32 years and was the Le Roy teachers' associate president for many years, coaching football, wrestling and tennis.

“I always enjoyed Le Roy and love working for the community,” Farnholz said. “Le Roy is a great community.”

As the teachers' association president, Farnholz said he has experience negotiating contracts, working with budgeting, personnel and other issues, which will help him serve the community well.

“As with any community there are certainly things and issues that need to be addressed and I thought I could help to address those issues,” Farnholz said. “Our main focus is to be fiscally responsible.”

Although Stiles and his wife both work in Rochester daily, they live in Le Roy. Stiles has worked for an asphalt maintenance company and owns his own snow removal business.

“We always get questioned on why we did it, and we say, ‘We just love our town,’ ” Stiles said.

He was approached by the mayor to run after there was a last-minute vacancy on the ticket.

“[Greg Rodgers] needed someone to run, and though I would be interested and that I was qualified,” Stiles said.

With his business experience, Stiles said he would like people to understand that there are consequences to changes in a business.

Multiple attempts were made to reach candidates Ninja-Aileene Calhoun and David Paddock, and they did not make themselves available for an interview.

October 5, 2017 - 1:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Elections, batavia, news.

Eastern Town of Batavia needs a new polling place, one more convenient and suitable for citizens in those districts, but finding the right place has proven difficult, elections commissioners Dick Siebert and Lorie Longhany told the County's Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday.

"We’ve looked everyplace," Siebert said. "We’ve looked at churches, we’ve looked at everything out there and there’s nothing available."

Any location has to be not just available on election days, but accessible and with plenty of parking.

There was a location on Clinton Street Road, but it's no longer available.

"We've got a couple of options on the table that we're looking into," Longhany said. "We hope something will come to fruition soon. We need to find a place that is good for the public and good for us."

One option is the new Richard C. Call Arena at Genesee Community College.

In the past, GCC hasn't been a good option because the buildings weren't accessible for some residents.

The new arena is accessible and has plenty of parking.

County Manager Jay Gsell said he has an inquiry out to college officials to see if that location can be used.

January 25, 2017 - 1:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Elections, news.

Repeated accusations of voter fraud by President Donald J. Trump haven't sat well with Richard Siebert, the Republican election commissioner for Genesee County.

"I take exception to the accusation," Siebert said. "It's an insult to elections commissioners."

Siebert said he and his staff, on both the GOP and Democratic side, work hard to ensure there are free and fair elections locally.

Trump has repeated claims, first made after he won the presidency through a larger margin of electoral college votes, that the only reason he lost the national popular vote by 2.9 million votes to Hillary Clinton is because millions of illegal ballots were cast.

He repeated the claim to members of Congress two days ago and his spokesman Scott Spicer seemed to back up the claim during a press briefing yesterday. This morning on Twitter, Trump said he was going to call for a federal investigation.

Siebert said he isn't aware of evidence to back up the claim and said as far as Genesee County goes it would be very difficult to cast a fraudulent ballot.

The Democrat commissioner, Lorie Longhany, has said that she is also upset by Trump's accusations.

The local voters roles are regularly purged of deceased people, he said, and the state's voter registration requires voters to provide the last four digits of the person's Social Security number, which are checked against records to ensure citizenship.

If a person shows up on Election Day at a polling location and their name isn't in the registration book, but the voter is sure he or she is registered and eligible to vote, the voter can complete an affidavit ballot. That ballot isn't scanned into the voting computer. It is hand checked at the commission office later and both Republic and Democrat staff must agree the ballot was legally cast before it is counted.

"In Genesee County it (voter fraud), I'll tell you, isn't an issue," Siebert said.

November 9, 2016 - 4:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Elections, news.

To see a graphic representation of how Genesee County voted yesterday, at least based on preliminary results, you can visit the county's GIS map and drill down by precinct on any race of interest.

For the presidential election, one precinct in the center of the city was an island of blue in a sea of red.

To get started, you need to enter a street address in the search box on the right of the map.

November 9, 2016 - 9:19am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Elections, news.


At a time in the evening when the outcome of the national election was still in doubt, both local Democrats and Republicans expressed hope that regardless of the final results, the country would come together and support whoever won the presidential election.

The Democrats were gathered at the Dibble Family Center to watch both national and local election results coming in and the Republicans were at Terry Hills.

"The country has to, number one, accept the democratic process that we just went through and realize that things are never as good as they seem nor as bad as they seem," said Rachael Tabelski, the chair of the Genesee County Republican Women and wife of Adam Tabelski , who won his race for City Council (both, pictured above). "In the words of my friend, Rome survived for 500 years, so we’re going to be just fine. Everybody needs to just relax and move on and hope it’s better for all of us no matter who the victor is."

For Democrats, especially, there was a sense that this was a historic election, a chance to elect our first woman president.

Diana Kastenbaum, herself running for Congress against incumbent Chris Collins (who won), said as the campaign wrapped up today, she and her daughter were in Rochester and decided to stop by the grave of Susan B. Anthony, whose activism helped secure women's right to vote.

"It was just amazing," Kastenbaum said. "It was like everyone converged on this one spot, putting stickers on her gravestone. It was just so phenomenal and I was so glad to be there with my daughter. It reminded me, when we were at the Democratic National Convention together, to see the first woman nominated for president of the United States. It was just so emotional for me."

Michael Plitt, chair of the Genesee County Democratic Committee, said he was primarily focused on local races, from supporting Kastenbaum, the first local candidate for congress in many years, to City Council race and other various town and village elections.

He said he's concerned the rancor of the 2016 campaign will make it harder to attract local candidates.

"It’s great to see people voting," Plitt said. "I hope it encourages more people to get involved locally. I think the mudslinging and all that at the national level kind of turns off local participation, which is not good. There are lots and lots of races. There are village councils. They are town boards. They are always coming up and it’s hard to get people to run for these seats due to the negativity at the presidential level."

Kastenbaum's husband, Hiram Kasten, an entertainer who performs all over the nation and is host of a weekly radio show on WBTA, said he thought a lot of the negativity might be the fault of the media, who always seem to want to cast an election as a horse race and obsess over tiny margins of votes.

"I think they exaggerated things," Kasten said, and then complained about the early night coverage concentrating on swing states before even the first vote was counted. 

Few at the Republic gathering spoke in terms of "a historic election," even as network election coverage was starting to show Donald Trump was on a path to victory.

It was an election, many said, including William Zipfel, where many voters saw it as a chance to throw off the shackles of Washington politics and change the direction of the country.

Zipfel said he disagreed with pundits who characterized this as the most important election in our lifetimes.

"I don’t think that’s the case," Zipfel said. "I’m not sure we’ve seen the most important election of our lifetimes. Things always change. If you look historically, some of our forefathers, some of them went through what we would probably consider the most important of a lifetime. Reagan-Carter was perhaps one of the most important elections, so it remains to be seen."

John Duyssen, a Town of Le Roy board member, farmer, and former deputy sheriff, said he was all-in for Trump in this election, even as he acknowledged the campaign was, at times, less than civil.

"I'm sick of negative campaigning, sick of all the mudslinging," Duyssen said. "There's been a lot of he-said, she-said bickering BS and not enough of what are we doing to do with this country and how to lead this country, and what are we going to do for trade, what are we going to do for our military, what are we going to do for our retired people, and what are we going to do really with this health insurance. Don’t tell me you’re going to fix it. I’m sick of hearing fix it for the last 20 years. Our rates just keep going up. I wasn’t impressed with any of the campaigning to be honest with you, but I think Trump’s the guy."

With the election still in the balance at 10 p.m., Duyssen said he hoped the country would come together despite the brutal campaign no matter who won.

"No matter what those two do, every day we’re going to awake and go to work," Duyssen said. "We’re going to continue to feed our families and we’re going to continue to pay our bills. A good leader steps up and leads our country. I hope Clinton and Trump, whichever one pulls it off, that’s really what they do and lead this country the way they’re supposed to lead and not their special interest and everything else. Represent the people."

Eugene Jankowski, president of the Batavia City Council and a retired police officer, also hopes for unity.

He supported Trump and opposed Clinton.

"I think either way, we wake up tomorrow, either way, we need to go forward," Jankowski said. "Nobody is going to be happy. One side is going to be upset that their candidate didn’t win. It’s a whole process, not just one person that runs our country. We have a legislative process. It’s up to them to listen to the will of the people and make the best choices on each issue that comes up.

"I don’t see where that process is going to be stopped in anyway shape or form by one person getting in the White House. Our country is great because we have checks and balances to prevent person from becoming a dictator. So no matter who gets in, both sides should be able to air their grievances and go through the process and they should be aired out in Congress through the House of Representatives like we’ve done for 200 years."


Diana Kastenbaum, center, and Hiram Kasten at the Democratic gathering.



David Saleh announces election results for the GOP.


Adam Tabelski speaks to fellow Republicans after it was clear he was going to win the City Council election.



The GOP's local winners, William Sheron, sheriff, Charles Zambito, county judge, Steve Hawley, Assembly, Scott German, treasurer, and Adam Tabelski, City Council.


The next Sheriff, Bill Sheron, second from left, and his family.

November 3, 2016 - 12:00pm

On November 8 there is an important local election happening in Batavia. Batavia residents, don’t forget to vote for Adam Tabelski.

Adam Tabelski has brought professionalism and integrity to Council, not to mention the experience of having been a trustee and mayor. He has worked extensively in the public and private sector, and he values common sense decision-making. On the campaign trail, Adam has heard the message from City residents: they want roads and sidewalks repaired, they want safe and healthy neighborhoods, they want an active downtown core. Those are broad objectives he will keep fighting for on City Council.

Oh, and although not a “lifelong resident,” Adam Tabelski is a Batavian by choice… and that’s more important! Exercise your right to vote. Vote Adam Tabelski for City Council-At-Large on November 8!

October 14, 2016 - 11:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Elections, news.

Officially, it's the last day to register to vote, but with a couple of qualifications to that statement.

First, if you are mailing in your registration form or having another person drop it off for you at a town hall, today is the last day. If by mail, it needs to be received by Oct. 19, with a postmark of today.

Second, the state allows local registration tomorrow. That means, you need to register in person, no drop-off registrations, at a town hall. In the City of Batavia, the location is the Fire Hall on Evans Street.

There are four candidates who have qualified for New York's presidential ballot:

  • Hillary Clinton
  • Donald Trump
  • Jill Stein
  • Gary Johnson

Other key races are U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, State Senate, CIty of Batavia Councilman at Large (click here (pdf)) for a complete list of offices on local ballots and the candidates in each race).

Richard Siebert, one of the county's elections commissioners, has said that he's expecting a record turnout for the Nov. 8 election.

"We’ve had a lot of activity," Siebert said. "We had a strong turnout in the primary. We had a 40-percent turnout on the Republic line in the primary. There’s been a lot of interest, both for Trump and for Hillary in our county. We normally experience anywhere around 70 to 72 percent in a presidential year. I think this year we will exceed that."

Up for grabs in New York for the presidential election are 29 electoral votes, which is 5.3 percent of the total electoral votes in the nation, and a little overf 10 percent of the 270 needed to win the presidency.

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