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Bill would realign elections in New York

Jun 27, 2023 12:59 pm

New York State of Politics reports that while one goal of a bill passed in Albany and awaiting Gov. Kathy Hochul's signature is to save money on elections by consolidating voting dates, many current election dates will remain on the calendar. The bill would move most elections currently in odd-numbered years, to even-numbered years, when more people vote in Congressional and Presidential elections. But Onondaga County Democratic Elections Commissioner Dustin Czarny points out the legislature did not, and could not, move all of the odd-numbered elections to even-numbered years. Czarny said, “Any judicial race would not be affected. Supreme Court justices. Town justices. Any other kind of judicial race.... Also, what will not be affected are any races that happen inside cities are protected by the Constitution." Jude Seymour, the Republican elections commissioner for the Jefferson County Board of Elections, points out the ballot will now be much longer now, and defends staggered-year voting saying, “They protect against a wholesale change of government based on the whims that may not last until the next election.... Alexander Hamilton and James Madison warned us centuries ago to protect against factions breaking apart our republic. I think putting all the elections in one year makes that harder to prevent.” Czarny admits that more people will vote in elections moved to even-numbered years saying, “In even numbered years since 2009, we averaged 63 percent turnout. In odd numbered years, we averaged 32 percent turnout. That’s a huge difference. That’s double." Read more about this story at New York State of Politics.

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