FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Bill O’Reilly, 212-396-9117 [email protected]
NEW YORK STATE CONSERVATIVE PARTY LEADERS FILE COMPLAINT IN STATE SUPREME COURT TO PROTECT CONSTITUTIONAL VOTING RIGHTS OF ALL NEW YORKERS
Buffalo, NY-March 19…New York State Conservative Party leaders today announced the filing of a verified complaint with the New York State Supreme Court, County of Niagara, to protect the constitutionally prescribed voting rights of all New Yorkers.
The document can be viewed here.
The complaint filed on Thursday in Niagara County, seeks to overturn an unconstitutional action by the State Legislature S8015-D/A10833 signed into law by Governor Cuomo on August 20th, 2020 and now Chapter 139 of the laws of 2020. This Chapter amends Election Law Section 8-400 in clear violation of Article II, Section 2 of the State Constitution. This section establishes specific circumstances in which a registered voter can obtain an absentee ballot.
The Conservative Party maintains that this Chapter makes a permanent change in the State Constitution and as such requires approval of the electorate by placing such amendment on the November ballot. The Legislature and Governor by adopting said piece of legislation have circumvented that process.
The authority that allowed the Governor to open the process of absentee ballots to all voters in 2020 was limited to the authority granted him through the broad temporary emergency powers adopted by the Legislature in the Spring of 2020. Those powers expire with the pandemic.
“The State Constitution belongs to the people of New York as a safeguard against runaway governors and legislatures which we clearly now have,” said State Conservative Party Chairman Gerard Kassar. “The Constitution spells out the rules for absentee voting in great specificity not to inhibit voting, but to protect the integrity of every vote in this state. Those who wish to make changes in these areas are free to do so through a vote of the electorate, but never through legislative action. They simply don’t have that power.”
The State Conservative Party successfully challenged the constitutionality of other attempted changes to New York Election Law by the Governor and Legislature in 2020.
“Every registered New Yorker should exercise his or her right to vote in every election, but it is imperative that the voting safeguards put in place by our State Constitution be observed to guarantee maximum ballot security,
”Chairman Kassar continued. “When rules are changed willy-nilly, public confidence in our election processes wane, and that can be a dangerous thing. This complaint seeks to protect the democratic rights of New Yorkers, and we are hopeful for an affirmative outcome by the Court.”