In Auburn, NY GOP chair urges ‘no’ vote against statewide ballot questions

AUBURN — New York Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy has a message for voters reviewing the five questions on the reverse side of the general election ballot: “Just say no.” 

Langworthy stopped at the Cayuga County Republican Committee’s headquarters on Monday to rail against the ballot questions, specifically the election-related amendments that would alter the independent redistricting process and allow for no-excuse absentee voting and same-day voter registration. 

One criticism levied by Langworthy against the first ballot proposal is that the independent redistricting commission is in the midst of its work. After the release of 2020 census data over the summer, the commission is in the process of redrawing congressional and state legislative district maps. 

The proposed amendment has divided good government groups, some of whom think it would reintroduce partisanship into the redistricting process. The proposal would make it easier for Democrats to sign off on the maps and influence the process. 

Langworthy urged voters to vote no on the first question and “keep the process independent.” 

“It hasn’t even gotten a chance to do its job one time yet and they’re changing the rules as we go,” he added. 

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The state GOP chair also blasted two other proposals that would make it easier to vote in New York. The third ballot question would clear the way for same-day voter registration by ending the 10-day advance voter registration requirement. 

Langworthy argues that same-day voter registration, which has been implemented in 20 states and the District of Columbia, is a “red carpet for voter fraud in this state.” He also thinks it would overburden local election boards. 

“To create same-day voter registration in this state would be an unmitigated disaster,” he said. 

He also opposes no-excuse absentee voting. In New York, an excuse is required to obtain an absentee ballot. The possible excuses could include an illness or if you will be out of your county of residence on Election Day. 

The fourth question on the ballot would allow voters to request a ballot without needing to provide an excuse. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 34 states and D.C. do not require an excuse to vote by absentee ballot. 

Langworthy says, with the proposed amendment, Democrats want to “flood the process with mail-in vote.” 

New York voters will consider two other ballot questions — one that would grant residents the right to clean air, water and a “healthful” environment and another that would increase the New York City Civil Court’s jurisdiction to hear cases involving claims of up to $50,000. 

While Langworthy’s main focus was on the election-related measures, he urged voters to reject the two other questions. 

Voters can cast an absentee ballot or vote during the nine-day early voting period, which concludes Sunday. The last chance to vote in the general election is on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 2. 

Online producer Robert Harding can be reached at (315) 282-2220 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @robertharding.

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