In the past, the state offered absentee voting to assist military members, traveling residents, and the housebound who were unable to make it to the polls. Proof of the cause for absence was required to get one of these ballots, and once provided, the voter was unable to alter his or her mind and return to the polls.
In New York, an amendment was proposed last year that would permit absentee voting without an explanation. In 2021, 55.03 percent of voters opposed the amendment, New York Proposal 4, to the extent that it was defeated.
In response to the outbreak, however, New York lawmakers passed a rule allowing individuals to vote by mail if they feared contracting COVID-19 by voting in person. This increase of absentee voting will expire at the conclusion of the current year.
As no judge ruled on the case, the legislature unilaterally decided to amend voting processes in a way that might compromise the integrity of voting.
Republicans and the Conservative Party opposed to this, and litigation has ensued since the conclusion of the last election.
A New York state judge decided on the voting issue on Friday.
The judge ruled that allowing New Yorkers to vote by mail out of concern over COVID-19 is illegal, a decision that Republican and Conservative Party leaders welcomed as a victory for fair elections.
Saratoga County Supreme Court Justice Dianne Freestone issued a 28-page opinion ordering local boards of election to cease counting absentee ballots received on Election Day, as all absentee ballots cast before to that date should have already been tallied.
Instead, authorities must “preserve” the late votes until after Election Day or the conclusion of a current lawsuit brought by state and local Republican and Conservative Party leaders in this case.
The judge did not reject absentee ballots that had already been cast; rather, he invalidated their counting after the permitted period.
In addition, the judge held that the choice to utilize COVID as a cause for voting by mail belongs with a higher court, not the legislature.
Immediately, Democratic authorities filed notice that they will appeal the judge’s judgment.
Rich Amedure, the primary plaintiff and Republican candidate for the 48th state Senate seat, is prepared to take the matter to the state’s highest Court of Appeals.
More on this story via The Republic Brief:
“I’m confident the ruling will be upheld in the higher courts,” Amendure said. “We’re asking for common-sense solutions. We’re not asking for any detailed nuanced interpretation of the law, so we think that our position is reasonable and sound.”
In her ruling, Freestone said that the Democrat-controlled Legislature “appears poised to continue the expanded absentee voting provisions of New York State Election Law … in an Orwellian perpetual state of health emergency and cloaked in the veneer of ‘voter enfranchisement.’” CONTINUE READING…