New York's universal mail-in voting law challenged in court


The state of New York’s universal mail-in voting law is being challenged by a legal watchdog group that claims the alteration to election protocol is unconstitutional.

A court brief has been filed in the New York Court of Appeals seeking to overturn the law, passed by the state legislature and signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul, which allows every registered voter in the state to vote via mail-in ballot.

The Public Interest Legal Foundation is leading the effort on behalf of multiple Republican leaders — including GOP Reps. Elise Stefanik and Claudia Tenney.

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Officials sort mail-in-ballots at the San Francisco City Hall polling location in San Francisco. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

New York residents overwhelmingly voted against universal mail-in ballots through a 2021 referendum seeking a constitutional amendment. 

Democratic lawmakers bypassed the failure of this referendum by simply voting the mail-in ballot expansion through the state legislature. Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul signed it into law late last year.

Public Interest Legal Foundation President J. Christian Adams accused the New York Legislature of having “unconstitutionally passed a law to allow every registered voter to cast a ballot in the mail” with this law.

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This photo illustration shows an absentee mail-in ballot for the 2020 general election sent by the Board of Election in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

“The plain text of the New York Constitution prohibits the expansion of mail voting,” Adams added. “If New York lawmakers want to expand mail voting, they need to pass a constitutional amendment.”

Democrats claim that the expanded avenue for absentee voting makes the democratic process easier for voters. Their critics contend this change in protocol makes voter fraud much easier.

This is not the Public Interest Legal Foundation’s first time in court fighting the expansion of absentee ballot eligibility. 

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Chester County election workers process mail-in and absentee ballots for the 2020 general election in the United States at West Chester University in West Chester, Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The foundation previously led the 2022 legal challenge against a similar law in Delaware. 

The campaign saw initial success when a state superior court sided against the proposed permanent absentee voting expansion.

However, the New York Supreme Court shot down that decision last month in a 5-0 ruling, finding that the Public Interest Legal Foundation did not have standing to sue.



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