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Court: Libertarian off ballot for Nassau Legislature

New York's appellate court upheld a lower-court ruling

New York's appellate court upheld a lower-court ruling that knocked Libertarian John Quirk off the ballot for the Nassau Legislature in November. (Sept. 19, 2013) Photo Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

New York's appellate court on Wednesday upheld a lower-court ruling that knocked Libertarian John Quirk off the ballot for the Nassau Legislature in November.

In a unanimous decision, the four-judge panel said that the State Supreme Court had properly invalidated signatures that left Quirk one short of the 1,106 he needed.

The appellate court said he did not provide credible evidence that the people whose signatures were challenged were the same people who signed the voter registration forms bearing their names.

It also said that the lower court appropriately invalidated signatures of people whose signatures did not match those on their voter registration cards, such as when they printed their names on the petition rather than writing it in cursive.

"The signatures were so different and so inconsistent with the signatures that were on file at the board of elections that it would lead one to believe that it was not signed by the person it purported to be signed by," said Kenneth Gray, an attorney at Bee Ready Fishbein Hatter & Donovan LLP, which represented the challenger Richard LaMarca.

Quirk's attorney, Gary Donoyan, said the ruling "leaves the current system in place, which makes it too easy for an objector to make numerous allegations of forgery."

Donoyan said his client was considering an appeal.

Quirk needed 1,106 signatures to get on the ballot as an independent and gathered 1,672. LaMarca, Oyster Bay's director of labor management relations and a Republican, challenged Quirk's petition to run for the 18th Legislative District.

Quirk, a district superintendent for the New York City Department of Sanitation, sought the chance to face Republican Donald MacKenzie and Democrat David Gugerty in the general election.

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