The New York GOP is blasting Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) over reports of the governor preparing to issue an executive order mandating mail-in voting for the state’s June primary election, calling the anticipated move an “illegal and unconstitutional political power grab that will severely undermine the integrity of our elections” and warning that the GOP is prepared to “legally challenge it at every level,” should Cuomo proceed.
“Throughout this pandemic, I have worked in good faith with the Governor to make necessary adjustments to our electoral system to protect the safety of New Yorkers, but this executive action crosses a red line,” NY GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy said in a statement.
Langworthy said he has been open to supporting other measures — allowing New Yorkers to use the threat of the coronavirus to vote by absentee ballot — to address bubbling concerns over the upcoming primary but said the risks of automatically mailing ballots, particularly without proper security measures in place, is far too risky and “most certainly invites fraud.”
There have been numerous cases across the country that should serve as a grave warning sign for the potential problems: ballot harvesting, ballots arriving late, ballots going to the wrong or old address, more than one ballot being delivered and bins of ballots that were never delivered. I have spoken directly to Boards of Elections commissioners from across the state of New York who oppose this order and characterize it as an impossible task.
“The ‘never let a crisis go to waste’ mentality has permeated the Governor’s office and Cuomo is using this pandemic as a reason to expand his powers and force his political agenda through,” he added, warning that the GOP will be ready to “legally challenge” the decision at every level, should Cuomo proceed with the order.
Reports surfaced on Monday afternoon indicating Cuomo’s intention of authorizing the automatic sending out of ballots for the election — a change from the recent expansion of absentee voting, which still requires a voter to request a ballot.
Progressive leaders across the board have used the coronavirus pandemic to promote their vision for universal mail-in voting. Far-left “Squad” members — Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) — believe the next coronavirus relief package must include a vote-by-mail requirement, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has signaled that she is on the same page.