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New York GOP Chair Opposes Voting and Redistricting Propositions

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GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy, with Republicans in Rensselaer County
Credit: New York NOW

New York GOP Chair Opposes Voting and Redistricting Propositions

The leader of New York’s Republican Party is urging voters to vote “no” on propositions aimed at changing how elections are conducted.

New York GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy made four stops Wednesday, including one in Rensselaer County, to encourage voters to reject each of the propositions on next week’s ballot, but specifically targeted those that would alter procedures for elections.

“This is people trying to find solutions for problems that do not exist. There are no barriers to voting in this state. We have an honest system, let’s keep it that way,” Langworthy said.

Proposition Three would allow for same-day voter registration. Under current statute in New York, voters have to be registered at least 10 days before an election takes place.

Proposition Four would allow voters to request an absentee ballot without having to provide a reason. Under existing regulations, absentee ballots can only be requested if the voter is away from home, or if they are unable to get to a polling place due to sickness or a disability.

Langworthy said he was opposed to both, but also took issue with Proposition One, which would overhaul the state’s redistricting process adopted in 2014, freeze the number of state senators at 63, and change how New York residents are counted, among other changes.

“In 2014 New Yorkers came together, en masse and voted for an Independent Redistricting Commission, to take the politicians out of the gerrymandering business, and let it be an independent process,” Langworthy said.

“That’s not good enough, apparently, for two supermajorities in the state Legislature, run by downstate liberal Democrats.”

Langworthy was joined by Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin at his third event of the day. McLaughlin said propositions One, Three, and Four are dangerous and wrong.

“These proposals are dangerous to our democracy. They do not enhance our democracy. They weaken our elections, they weaken our democracy, and they solidify the grip on power that the Democrats have in Albany,” McLaughlin said.

“They don’t want fair and free elections, they want the exact opposite.”

In addition to his Rensselaer visit, Langworthy also made stops in Plattsburgh, Ballston Spa, and Kinderhook with the same message.

While propositions one, three, and four were the main focus, Langworthy admonished voters to vote “no” on all five, saying that it simplifies the process.

“I don’t care much about the civil courts in New York City, but I don’t want to confuse things, because the other questions are just so important,” Langworthy said.

“They can always run that ballot proposition some other time if it’s so important to them, but I don’t want there to be a word of confusion.”

The other propositions on the ballot are Proposition 2, which would amend Article I of the New York Constitution to add the right to clean air and water, and Proposition 5, which would allow the New York City Civil Court make judgements on claims of up to $50,000, an increase from the current $25,000 limit.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 2.