Friday, January 21, 2022

NY 2022 Voting Reforms

New York would Extend Absentee Balloting through the rest of 2022, under a Bill that breezed through the Democratic-controlled Senate and Assembly this month.

The Assembly Passed the Bill 100-45 on Wednesday, and the Senate Passed the Bill, last week, with a 42-21 Vote. One Democrat in the Senate, and Two Democrats in the Assembly, Opposed it.

The Bill now heads to the Desk of Gov. Kathy Hochul (D), who said in December, she intends to Allow every New Yorker to Vote by Absentee in 2022.

“Gov. Hochul is committed to restoring faith in government and elections, which is why she proposed a number of State reforms to improve access to voting and safeguard elections in New York, and we will review the legislation,” her Spokesperson, Hazel Crampton-Hays, said.

Democrats Passed the Constitutional Amendments, for Two years in a row in the Legislature, a Requirement for getting Referendum on the Ballot.

But the State's Conservative Party waged a Successful, multi-million Campaign against the Referendum in the Final days leading up to the November 2021 Election. State Campaign Finance reports show the Party spent nearly $4.2 million on Radio and Online Ads beginning in Mid-October, 2021.

The Conservative Party's Ads argued that Same Day Voter Registration and Expanded Absentee Voting would Weaken Election Security.

Democrats did Not mount a Statewide Campaign in Support of the Referendum, a Decision blasted by Voting Right Supporters who have long Pushed for the reforms.

New York still took some steps to make Voting Easier last year: Hochul signed Bills in December, 2021, to Increase the Mandated Number of Early Voting Sites, and require Absentee Ballots to be Counted in time for Unofficial Results to be known on Election night. Since New York rolled out Early Voting in recent years, Voting Rights Activists have Criticized the Lack of Polling Places and Limited hours. And in 2020, the Presidential Election was marked by Delays as Counties Tallied up a tsunami of Absentee Ballots.

State Election Commissioners: Peter Kosinski (R) and Anthony Casale (R), slammed Hochul and Lawmakers for Passing the Two Laws: “These actions are a direct threat to the integrity of the election process, designed to make it easier to manipulate the votes of people voting by absentee ballot.”

A December 2021 Review, found fewer than 475 potential Cases of Voter Fraud, in the Six Battleground States Disputed by Trump, a number that would have made No Difference in the 2020 Presidential Election.

Leaders of the State Senate say the Democratic Majority will pass a pile of other Election Bills this year: ranging from Allowing Portable Polling Sites, making Early Voting Easier in Rural areas, to allowing Local Election Boards to set up Drop Boxes for Absentee Ballots.

Currently, New York Only accepts Voting Registration Applications that are Postmarked 25 days before an Election, and received 20 days before a Primary or General Election. A Bill supported by Senate Democrats, would allow Voters to Register sooner: Boards of Election could Accept Applications received 10 days before a Primary or General Election.

Sen. Brad Hoylman (D-27th District), is again proposing to Prohibit the use of Campaign Funds to Pay a Candidate's Attorney’s Fees or other Costs from Criminal or Civil Litigation. He's argued that it's Unfair for Donors to Fund Legal Bills. Hoylman’s Bill was referred to the Senate Elections Committee in early January. It’s Failed to pass for years, with Critics pointing to the Higher Threat of Legal Action facing Lawmakers.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker

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