M'burgh responds to audit


“The Town Board of Middleburgh supports honest, fair, and free elections with all of the checks, balances, and safeguards to insure that all elections are trustworthy and free of election fraud of any form, up to and including an independent audit.”
With that, the Town of Middleburgh answered requests by New York Citizens Audit volunteers to sign a Resolution for an Audit of the New York State 2022 General Election.
Formed in 2021, New York Citizens Audit calls itself “a non-partisan, all-volunteer…non-profit corporation dedicated to restoring and maintaining the essential, founding American principal of sovereignty through honest, provable elections in New York and across the nation.”
They may be.
Speaking to the Board of Supervisors in January, Elections Commissioners Ken Schweigard (R) and Cliff Hay (D) said NYCA’s claims that the number of votes cast in the 2022 state election don’t match the number of registered voters “aren’t really based on fact” and comparing numbers in different points in time.”
Thursday, Middleburgh Supervisor John Youmans said he’d planned to have Mr. Schweigard at their meeting, but he had a conflict.
“He can only speak to the county,” he said. “I’m pretty sure the county is doing just fine. I’m more concerned about the outside area.”
In February, after reviewing video on the NYCA website and hearing from volunteer Esther Chiofalo of Glenmont for the third time, Town Board members said they were willing to sign onto the call for an audit, but wanted time to draft their own resolution.
Mr. Youmans said Thursday that they hadn’t had time to do that, but in a surprise move at the end of the meeting, Councilman and former Supervisor Wes Laraway said he had—and offered his own draft resolution—initially without those last seven words—“to set a tone and send a message.”
“I think it sends a very clear message, do you agree?” he asked Ms. Chiofalo in the audience.
Ms. Chiofalo said her group supports an “end-to-end audit by a third party,” she said.
“The county has not been supportive,” she said. “We all wonder why. It doesn’t make sense. We’ve been met with crickets by the higher-ups,” which is why, she said, they’ve taken the issue to towns like Middleburgh.
Why had Mr. Schweigard been asked to attend the meeting, Ms. Chiofalo asked.
“Was his purpose to discourage you?”
“No,” Mr. Youmans said emphatically.
“Our Board of Elections goes above and beyond,” said Councilwoman Sue Makely. “No one has any doubts about our county. We can’t speak for what happens in larger metropolitan areas. I support our Board of Elections wholeheartedly.”
“Our primary focus is on New York State,” answered Ms. Chiofalo.
After more discussion, Mr. Laraway agreed to add “up to and including an independent audit,” and the motion passed unanimously.