Libertarian Bowman Wins In Court But Misinformation Persists, Flawed Ballots Mailed to Voters. Bowman Plans a “Moving Press Conference” to Set Record Straight.

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Gigi Bowman, Libertarian candidate for New York State Senate (5th district, Long Island), survives challenges by Republican incumbent, Carl Marcellino. But news agencies continue with outdated information and the Nassau and Suffolk Board of Elections have mailed thousands of incorrect absentee ballots.

Gigi Bowman for Senate

We finally won this only five days before the election and there is plenty of outdated and incorrect information out there. The voters deserve the facts and the news organizations have a responsibility to report the facts.

Libertarian candidate Georgina (Gigi) Bowman is on the ballot, challenging incumbent Republican Carl Marcellino for the State Senate seat in New York’s fifth district which covers parts of Long Island. But a tangled legal battle has left a trail of outdated and incorrect information. Bowman is concerned that voters won’t have the facts, and she’s planning to take those facts directly to Long Island news organizations in a mobile press conference. On Monday Bowman will visit a series of Long Island news organizations armed with court papers proving that she’s on the ballot.

Bowman said, “We finally won this only five days before the election and there is plenty of outdated and incorrect information out there. The voters deserve the facts and the news organizations have a responsibility to report the facts.”

Bowman collected over 5000 signatures, far more than the 3,000 required to appear on the ballot. On September 19, New York State Board of Elections (NYSBOE) certified Bowman’s petitions and NYSBOE Commissioners confirmed that on September 26.

But Marcellino and three of his staffers sued to remove Bowman from the ballot alleging that all of Bowman’s signatures were invalid (Nassau Supreme Court, Index No. 8640/2014). The suit was eventually appealed through the state Board of Elections and 3 levels of courts. Bowman won at the state Board of Elections and every appellate court. Marcellino won at the trial court, on a decision, later reversed, that service of Marcellino's petition was timely. On Thursday October 30 Bowman finally won in the New York Court of Appeals, New York’s highest court (New York Court of Appeals, Motion No. 2014-1108).

The Bowman campaign says by that time irreparable damage was done. News 12 did an interview with Bowman but never aired it. Oyster Bay Guardian omitted her from their print and online papers, saying, "We had no idea she was on the ballot" and never returned her call. Newsday left her out of their interactive voter’s guide until the public called and emailed complaints. Nassau and Suffolk Boards of Elections mailed two conflicting sets of ballots the first included Bowman and the second excluded her. “How are the voters supposed to know which is correct?’ said Bowman.

Libertarians allege a pattern of political favoritism in enforcement of ballot access law. Ballot access is enforced by Board of Elections comprised almost entirely of Democrat and Republican political appointees.

Bowman’s attorney Gary Donyan said, "Senator Marcellino and three of his staffers brought suit against Gigi Bowman in an attempt to void the decision of the State Board of Elections ruling her on the ballot. The Nassau Supreme Court ruled the suit valid, despite being served late, in violation of the rules that everyone else must follow. The Albany Appellate Court reversed that decision, but Senator Marcellino kept on appealing, until the highest court in New York finally stopped his suit permanently, just last Thursday. We are grateful to the judges that upheld the law, to Mike McDermott for supporting the case at each hearing, and to the national, state, Suffolk and Nassau LPs for assisting with the funding for the legal case."

“As a candidate, I wanted to discuss the issues. I didn't want to waste time and taxpayer money in a frivolous lawsuit." Said Bowman “This lawsuit was not my choice but it is my victory and a victory for voters who want to choose a candidate who opposes the SAFE Act and Common Core.“

Libertarian candidate for Governor Michael McDermott will join Bowman in the moving press conference. McDermott has worked with Bowman throughout the court battle and attended every court appearance. McDermott said “We must not tolerate politicians treating our candidates this way. We must show them we won't take their dirty tricks lying down. And we must let the voters know who their incumbent state senator is: someone who will go to great lengths to keep his opponent off the ballot and deprive voters of a choice.”

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Michael McDermott

Gigi Bowman
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