BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Specific objections were filed against 18-year-old Austin Harig’s petition for the Board of Elections. Harig is running for the Park District seat against Carl Paladino.
Harig said he collected over 600 signatures by going door to door, the minimum was 500. Now Paladino’s campaign is taking steps to get Harig off the ballot.
In order to defend his signatures, Harig would need to seek legal counsel which he is not be able to afford.
Harig told News 4 he does have a team of lawyers after they willingly stepped up to give their services for free.
Board of Election officials said they will review the objections and decide whether the petition is valid or not.
“In many cases they sit down at the kitchen table and they write out the names and that’s fraud. In many cases they go down to the local Dunkin’ Donuts and they ask people coming in without checking that they live in the district and they got bad addresses. There’s all kinds of little quirky things that are meaningful when it comes to the petitions,” said Paladino.
Harig said his signatures are not fraudulent and every single signature is in the district. He said either way, this won’t be the end for his campaign.
“Honestly, I hope I get to stay on the ballot, but if I don’t get to stay on the ballot, he’s not getting rid of me, I’m going to run a write in campaign and I’m still going to work really hard to bring up the issues and defeat him,” said Harig.
Harig will not be challenging Paladino’s signatures, he believes he got them fair and square.
Hearings for the filed objections is expected to take place sometime next week.