COOPERSTOWN — Anthony J. Casale, a veteran of politics and government, has been appointed as a commissioner of the state Board of Elections, a four-member panel with oversight over balloting throughout the state.

The Cooperstown resident, a Republican, was elected to the state Assembly for nine terms before being appointed chairman of the state Liquor Authority in 1995.

The 73-year-old Casale, a native of Herkimer, was appointed to the elections board by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on the recommendation of state Republican Party Chairman Nick Langworthy.

Casale fills a vacancy created by the resignation last year of former Commissioner Gregory Peterson of Nassau County. The board is made up of two Democratic and two Republican commissioners.

“We work with the counties through the staff to ensure they have the resources and the guidance to conduct the elections,” Casale said. “This is a very unique year, of course.”

County election boards will face a variety of challenges as a result of executing the mission to run elections during a public health crisis, he said.

“This year the county boards are strapped with two issues — the heavy amount of absentee ballots expected to be cast and then dealing with the COVID issues,” he said. “They vote across the state at church halls, schools to fire departments. Some of the places are not very large, so they have to deal with the distancing requirements due to COVID. So there is a lot of work for the county boards.”

As part of its role in ensuring the integrity of elections, the board also reviews alleged violations of state election law.

Joe Mahoney covers the New York Statehouse for CNHI’s newspapers and websites. Reach him at jmahoney@cnhi.com.

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