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Commissioner: Man poses as election inspector in Saratoga Springs.

A Saratoga County Board of Elections commissioner has alerted fellow county leaders and staff that a man posing as an election official is knocking on Democrats’ doors to question them about their petition signatures.

According to Democratic Commissioner Cassandra Bagramian, the man has told people he’s a Board of Elections inspector who must verify if county treasurer candidate Michele Madigan witnessed their signature on her petitions.

“The BOE does not deploy investigators and it is unlawful to impersonate election staff,” Bagramian wrote in a Tuesday email to Republican elections Commissioner Joseph Suhrada, Sheriff Michael Zurlo and Saratoga County Administrator Steve Bulger. “I wanted to make sure you are all aware of this situation and will let you know if I get a name.”

The state Board of Elections emphasized that impersonating an election official is indeed illegal. “While there is nothing inherently illegal with an individual knocking on someone’s door and asking about a petition they may have signed, impersonating a Board of Elections official would be problematic,” spokeswoman Kathleen McGrath wrote in an email. “Criminal impersonation in the second degree (including pretending to be a public servant) does constitute a class A misdemeanor under New York Penal Code 190.25.”

McGrath also said that legislation was introduced last fall in the state Senate and Assembly to add impersonation of election officials and Board of Elections employees as a first-degree felony. Both bills remain in committee, she said.

Last fall, News 10 reported that election inspector impersonators had reportedly been going door-to-door in Warren and Washington counties. At that time, the state Board of Elections cautioned residents, saying these efforts appeared to be efforts to intimidate voters.

Madigan, the Democrat running against Republican and acting county treasurer JoAnn Kupferman, said she is not worried about her petitions.  From the Times-Union (paywall-free link)