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Monday, December 21, 2009

This piece today from the Plattsburgh Press Republican has some stern implications for the Towns of Alexandria and Orleans right here in Jefferson County.

ALBANY — A small town battle over fewer than 70 ballots from November's election could decide if downstate New Yorkers, most of them Democrats, can vote from their weekend and vacation homes upstate, a Republican outpost that can be shaken by a few strategically placed voters.

In the town of Taghkanic, some 100 miles north of New York City, a handful of local elections — highway superintendent, town justice and two town council seats — are on hold until the courts decide whether final ballots can be counted. The winners are supposed to take office Jan. 1.

The community of about 1,100 people wasn't expecting the political battle that's landed on their front lawns. But it started years ago for state Republicans who have gradually watched the erosion of their traditional hold on upstate New York.

At issue is state election law that defines residence as the place "where a person maintains a fixed, permanent and principal home and to which he, wherever temporarily located, always intends to return."

Maybe Sampie has a chance next time.

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