The Third Department determined service of objections to the Weinstock designating petition by express mail overnight was not the equivalent of service by registered or certified mail as required by the Election Law. The court also determined that the proceeding was not timely commenced:
Although petitioners argue that express mail overnight is the “functional equivalent” of registered or certified mail, the provisions of 9 NYCRR 6204.1 (b), which are “mandatory and may not be disregarded”… , as well as the service requirements set forth in Election Law § 6-154 (2), have long required strict and literal compliance … . …
“A petitioner raising a challenge under Election Law § 16-102 must commence the proceeding and complete service on all the necessary parties within the period prescribed by Election Law § 16-102 (2)” … . In order to properly complete service, actual delivery must occur no later than the last day upon which the proceeding may be commenced …— here, April 3, 2020.
As evidenced by the proofs of delivery contained in the record on appeal, the order to show cause and the accompanying petition were delivered to Weinstock on April 4, 2020 and to the State Board on April 6, 2020. Inasmuch as service was not completed within the statutory period ending on April 3, 2020, Supreme Court properly found that this proceeding was not timely commenced … . Matter of Sauberman v Weinstock, 2020 NY Slip Op 02906, Third Dept 5-15-20