Republicans, opposing voting measures, cite investigation into Republican voter fraud in Rensselaer County
Brendan J. Lyons reports in the Times Union that two Republican members of the state Board of Elections cited investigations into Republican voter fraud in Rensselaer County as an example to criticize Gov. Kathy Hochul for recently signing two laws they say "are a direct threat to the integrity of the election process." Peter S. Kosinski and Anthony J. Casale, the Republican members of the Board of Elections released a statement Jan. 10 that said, in part, "The first bill allows third parties ... political operatives, to apply for absentee ballots for voters by doing away with the requirement that the voter sign the absentee ballot application prior to the ballot being sent to the voter.... We have seen in various parts of New York ... the manipulation of this process which was allowed by an Executive Order by former Gov. Andrew Cuomo in response to the COVID-19 pandemic." The State Police and FBI are currently investigating allegations that political operatives in Rensselaer County manipulated the absentee voting process, with voters claiming absentee ballots were cast in their names without their permission in last November's election. So far, no charges have been filed as the investigation continues. Last month, State Police seized the mobile phone of Rensselaer Mayor Michael E. Stammel, as part of the investigation. While Hochul did not respond to the attack State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, a Democrat said, they will continue to fight Republican efforts to restrict voting. "They are willing to put their money obviously into making sure people do not vote. We on the other hand will continue to educate. ... We must continue to push," she said. Read more about this story in the Times Union.