Attempt to Force Change in Local Elections Will Hurt Voters and Good Government and Should Be Stopped, says McLaughlin
Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin is expressing strong concern about a move in the State Legislature to force a change in when county and town elections are held, saying the proposal is unconstitutional and will reduce voter and citizen participation.
The bills, S.6197 and A.8560, would require county and town elections outside of New York City to be held in even-numbered years. In Rensselaer County, county and town elections are now held in odd numbered years.
“This is an unconstitutional move that is being snuck in at the last minute and should be stopped immediately. I am calling on Governor Hochul and all responsible members of the State Legislature to reject this blatant attempt at reducing the rights of voters,” said McLaughlin.
“If this measure was to be approved, voters would face a ballot with literally dozens of offices, federal, state and local, all absurdly jumbled together. Those new ballots would be confusing, contradictory and cause voters to walk away from the process,” added McLaughlin.
“Now, under the current framework, voters are able to consider federal and state issues on one year and county and town issues on another year. It is fair, it allows for voters to make careful review and informed choices and encourages more participation in the electoral process,” continued McLaughlin.
McLaughlin said he has been in contact with other county executives in the state, who share his strong concerns about the change and the impacts on voters and local issues and elections.
“We have already seen the redistricting process become a mess and determined to be illegal. Now, the same architects and supporters of the redistricting disaster want to create chaos in local elections. The people would be the losers in the process,” said McLaughlin.
“Other county leaders share my concern and legal action is a strong possibility,” he said.