New York Democrats use a nasty trick. They propose something of self-interest, couch it in lofty language and then call anyone who opposes it “haters” — or worse.
There’s no better example than the three cynical ballot initiatives they’re thrusting on voters this Nov. 2 in the false name of election reform. New Yorkers should see through the “progressives’” charade and resoundingly vote “No” on Propositions 1, 3 and 4.
These ballot initiatives would dramatically change how elections take place in the Empire State — all to the advantage of the Democratic Party, naturally. They would weaken, not strengthen, existing election safeguards.
Proposition 1 would gut the state’s Independent Redistricting Commission, which was broadly approved by voters in 2014, thus allowing a return to more partisan gerrymandering. It would also enshrine a provision in the state Constitution to include undocumented immigrants in district counts, permanently giving urban areas (that often vote Democratic) more representation than rural areas that are already feeling marginalized.
Proposition 3 would allow same-day voter registration, opening the door to fraud.
And Proposition 4 would legalize universal voting by mail throughout New York state. That the least-secure form of voting, as even The New York Times has acknowledged. Anyone who dares call out these shenanigans as corrupt is falsely labeled anti-(small “d”) democratic — when the truth is just the opposite.
New York has held secure elections for generations. But if you listen to the Democrats, who control every lever of power in state government, major reforms are needed — “reforms” that would help them institutionalize that power for potentially decades to come.
By eliminating the Independent Redistricting Commission, Democrats, who control both houses of the state Legislature, will have carte blanche to redraw state district maps in a way designed to maintain and increase their majorities. This measure is so nakedly partisan that it’s opposed even by several liberal government-watchdog groups, most notably the League of Women Voters.
The League should be opposing Proposition 3 as well: The current 10-day registration requirement makes sense (and it’s hardly onerous.) It gives local boards of election time to ensure that potential voters are qualified to vote and that fraudulent practices like double voting aren’t occurring.
Ask Oregon. That state tried same-day voter registration but quickly abandoned it after a fringe group tried to steal a county election with massive same-day registration fraud.
These are common-sense safeguards long honored by previous bipartisan state legislatures. If they’re reversed by voters in November, boards of election will become overwhelmed and the integrity of our elections will be put in question.
Expanding the ability to vote by mail to everyone, regardless of their ability to vote in person, would be another disconcerting shift in our political process. Temporarily enacted by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2020 to contend with the COVID-19 pandemic, the massive influx of ballots cast through no-excuse absentee voting resulted in contentious lawsuits in 2020, serious concerns of ballot harvesting and delayed election outcomes for months, eroding confidence in the results.
Why would we want more of that?
Voting is a right every citizen should exercise. But voting systems have to be fair, secure and workable. That’s why we have laws already in place to protect the integrity of the voting process — laws vetted by time.
Albany Democrats in charge of state government have little interest in that. They simply see an opportunity to tighten their monopoly on power, and they’re trying to seize on it by changing the electoral system to their permanent advantage. There’s nothing noble about that. It’s pure Tammany Hall.
Don’t buy into the sanctimonious sophistry. It’s a lie. Those who truly care about democracy and understand how elections function will reject Propositions 1, 3 and 4.
Leave our existing election safeguards alone. They work.
Jerry Kassar is chairman of the New York State Conservative Party.
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