New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s reelection campaign is blasting her Republican challenger over allegations of petition fraud.
The Democratic incumbent’s campaign manager says New Yorkers deserve answers about more than 11,000 petition signatures that were allegedly photocopied to allow Rep. Lee Zeldin to run on the Independence Party line in addition to the GOP ticket in the fall general election.
Hochul’s campaign manager Brian Lenzmeier noted that Zeldin, of Long Island, had voted against approving the 2020 presidential election results. Zeldin was a big advocate of false claims that the contest was stolen from former President Donald Trump.
“After leading efforts to throw out the 2020 presidential election results over baseless conspiracy theories, Lee Zeldin is now implicated in an actual case of alleged election fraud, and this time it’s real,” Lenzmeier said in a Friday statement. “New Yorkers deserve to know how more than 11,000 photocopied petition signatures were submitted on behalf of Zeldin’s campaign and who oversaw the process.”
Last month, the state Board of Election tossed out almost 13,000 signatures for Zeldin to get on the Independence Party line. Democratic state Sen. Zellnor Myrie of Brooklyn recently filed a complaint with Albany County District Attorney David Soares asking for an investigation about more than 11,000 of the petitions.
“We know the facts — thousands of invalid ballot signatures were submitted to get Zeldin on the Independence Party line,” Lenzmeier stated. “This is a serious offense that could result in multiple charges, including felonies. Lee Zeldin owes it to the voters to come clean about what happened.”
Zeldin’s campaign did not immediately answer a request for comment.
“In the final few days leading up to the filing deadline, tens of thousands of signatures from all over the state had to be immediately turned into the Board of Elections,” his spokeswoman Katie Vincentz said in a July statement. “While the Zeldin for New York campaign is not aware of photocopies, we certainly didn’t make any photocopies.”