Amid disinterest and disdain, New York State voters slapped the hands of Democrats who wanted to throw away long-standing election rules and cement control over the state’s redistricting process.
The political chasm between New York City and the rest of the state was evident in the way two propositions to loosen election rules were defeated.
New York’s Proposition 3 to scrap the current requirement to register 10 days before an election and Proposition 4 to allow universal vote-by-mail eked out a plurality of support in New York City, but was defeated when Upstate New York rejected the measures, according to the New York Post.
The Post noted that more than 200,000 New York City voters never even voted on the ballot questions.
Interesting note: Voters in NYC were often more likely to leave the ballot propositions blank than the rest of the state.
For example 13% of voters across NYS left ballot prop 1 blank.
— Morgan Mckay (@morganfmckay) November 3, 2021
A different type of power grab was envisioned in Proposition 1 — which among its other provisions would have meant that when district lines are drawn after each Census, a simple majority vote would be good enough to win legislative approval. Currently, a two-thirds majority is required.
The practical impact of the proposition would have been that the minority party, which in deep-blue New York is the Republican Party, would have had no voice in the redistricting process.
The League of Women Voters of New York State had joined Republicans in opposing the measure.
“It’s not giving other parties a fair shot at having any sort of say in this process,” said Jennifer Wilson, the group’s deputy director, according to The New York Times.
The only election results I cared about here in NY was the 5 NY ballot propositions (especially prop 1 of redistricting) and hell yesss Upstate and Western New Yorkers came out to reject 1,3,and 4 🙌🏻👊🏼🔥🔥🔥Finally Upstate NY vote counted over NYC, there’s some hope for NY yet https://t.co/rv3cxGnI5n
— 🇺🇸Minxy🇺🇸 (@lrish_Minx) November 3, 2021
With 86 percent of the state’s election districts reporting, Proposition 1 was heading for defeat by a 55 percent to 45 percent margin, according to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.
Proposition 3 was being trounced by a 57 percent to 43 percent margin. Proposition 4 was losing 56 percent to 44 percent.
“New York Democrats use a nasty trick. They propose something of self-interest, couch it in lofty language and then call anyone who opposes it ‘haters’ — or worse,” he wrote.
“These ballot initiatives would dramatically change how elections take place in the Empire State — all to the advantage of the Democratic Party, naturally. They would weaken, not strengthen, existing election safeguards.”
“New York has held secure elections for generations. But if you listen to the Democrats, who control every lever of power in state government, major reforms are needed — ‘reforms’ that would help them institutionalize that power for potentially decades to come,” he continued.
“Voting is a right every citizen should exercise. But voting systems have to be fair, secure and workable. That’s why we have laws already in place to protect the integrity of the voting process — laws vetted by time.”
“Albany Democrats in charge of state government have little interest in that. They simply see an opportunity to tighten their monopoly on power, and they’re trying to seize on it by changing the electoral system to their permanent advantage. There’s nothing noble about that. It’s pure Tammany Hall,” Kassar explained.
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