Senate Passes Seward Bill to Protect Voter Choice in Otsego County

James L. Seward

May 08, 2018

ALBANY, 05/08/18 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I/Ref- Oneonta) today announced senate passage of legislation he sponsors, to preserve voter choice in Otsego County.  Senator Seward’s bill (S.8343) was developed following a minor administrative oversight involving a member of the Otsego County Board of Representatives.

“My legislation will preserve the choice of the voters in Otsego County District 10 despite a minor paperwork error regarding a newly elected official’s oath of office,” said Senator Seward.  “This is commonsense legislation that will ensure that a legally elected county representative is not removed from office merely due to a clerical error of his own doing.”

Senator Seward’s legislation was developed at the request of Otsego County officials.  District 10 Representative Dan Wilber inadvertently overlooked the requirement to sign his oath of office within 30 days of his swearing-in triggering an automatic vacancy.  While he has been legally reappointed to the position by the county board, his office will be open for election again this November to fill the final year of the term.  The new bill, if signed in to law, would allow Wilber to complete the two-year term he was elected to serve.

“This is a situation that, historically, has occurred on occasion.  As always, I stand ready to help local officials and make sure that the will of the people is achieved – that’s the bottom line.  I am hopeful that the assembly will act on this bill in short order so it can be sent to the governor for final approval,”  Seward concluded.

The bill has been forwarded to the state assembly.