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Electioneering, Dirty Tricks, Ignorance, Overreaction or Imtimidation? Stay Tuned, We'll Find Out!

Updated: Apr 17, 2023

NEW WINDSOR – Several registered Republican voters that have signed designating petitions for Stephen Bedetti, who is seeking to be the Republican candidate for New Windsor town supervisor, have been visited by private investigators in the past two days. The voters have all signed petitions supporting Stephen Bedetti and Bedetti filed those petitions with the Orange County Board of Elections (BOE) on April 1..

Registered republican voters told Mid-Hudson News that they have been visited by a person claiming to be an investigator “hired by the board” to verify that they personally signed the petition for Bedetti. The investigators, including Robert D’Angelo, a retired state trooper working for Pagones O’Neill Investigations, are visiting New Windsor Republicans, showing them their signature on Bedetti’s petition, and asking them to verify it is truly their signature.

Mid-Hudson News has viewed a Ring camera video of an investigator by the name of Raphael at the home of a man who signed the Bedetti petition. After giving his name, Rafael said, “I’m from the Town of New Windsor elections – the Board of Elections.” After having the voter sign an affidavit swearing it was his signature on the petition, Rafael also said, “We got hired by the board just to confirm a couple signatures – normal stuff.” On Tuesday, the commissioners of the Orange County Board of Elections, after receiving several reports of voters being visited by investigators saying they were working for the “board of elections,” issued a statement denouncing that misrepresentation. The statement said, in part, “These individuals identified themselves as representing the Board of Elections. Please be advised this is false information, and the individuals are misrepresenting the Board. The Board of Elections did not send anyone to question voters and would not do so.” The elections commissioners noted that the incidents are under investigation and voters can call 845-360-6500, to report an incident or receive information. Former state assemblyman Colin Schmitt, a Republican, filed designating petitions on Monday to challenge Bedetti for the Republican ballot line. He also filed Conservative party designating petitions. Schmitt is a veteran candidate, having run unsuccessfully for the state assembly in 2012 and 2016, before winning the seat in 2018 and again in 2020. In 2020 he opted not to seek re-election to the assembly and instead ran an unsuccessful campaign for Congress. A Republican voter interrogated by an investigator told Mid-Hudson News that the man visited his house on Monday and was unable to disclose who had hired the firm for which he works. “He said he didn’t know who hired his company but it seems obvious that they are working for Colin (Schmitt) and trying to intimidate my wife and me into not voting for Mr. Bedetti. I won’t be intimidated but I am pretty sure that other voters may get scared out of voting because of this behavior. Whoever is responsible for sending investigators out should take ownership of it – publicly.”

None of the investigators have said that the Schmitt campaign was behind the challenges to the signatures.

Any registered voter may challenge the validity of the filed petitions. Written objections, according to state law, are required to be filed within three days after the petitions are filed, except for villages. Specifics for the objections are required to be filed with the BOE within six days of filing the general objections.

Source: Mid-Hudson News

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