GOP accuses Dems of playing ‘dirty’ by sending truancy applications to Hochul supporters
Republicans accuse Gov. Kathy Hochul’s supporters of ‘dirty tricks’ for sending voters pre-filled applications for mail-in ballots – with COVID-19 already verified as the reason for remote voting – in what appears to be a close race against Rep. Lee Zeldin ahead of the Nov. 8 election.
“No one should fill in that box but the voter who asks for it,” GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy said Monday of voter education.
âIt is unconscionable and the height of dishonesty and hypocrisy for Democrats to use the guise of COVID while we gather at concerts,â he added of what he called “dirty tricks and deceptive schemes” allegedly used by Democrats.
Yet, it is legal in New York State for political parties or candidates to use publicly available registration records to complete absentee ballot applications for voters to sign and return to the New York Board of Elections. state, election law experts told the Post on Monday.
But Republicans allege their rivals are stretching the spirit, if not the letter of the law, by using letterhead in their outreach materials that appears to mimic official forms used by local and state election officials.
The words “New York State Voter Assistance Program” appear at the top of a piece of paper that accompanies the application alongside a letter that discloses the state’s Democratic Committee as the funder. fund and source of effort in a relatively small font.
“The New York State Democrats sent and paid for a courier that was designed to look like an official New York State document and it was called the Voter Assistance Program of New York State,” Langworthy said Monday.
State Democratic Party Chairman Jay Jacobs did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Absentee voting has increased dramatically since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with Hochul signing legislation in January allowing New Yorkers to use COVID-19 as an official excuse until the end of the year.
Recent election cycles have shown that the practice tends to benefit Democrats more than Republicans, especially following then-President Donald Trump’s attacks on the practice in the run-up to his election defeat. of 2020.
Absentee voting could give New York Democrats a similar advantage in the 2022 gubernatorial race, with polls released in recent days showing Zeldin as close as 6 points and up 15 points behind Hochulwhich has a big fundraising advantage against Zeldin.
The Long Island Republican was a staunch Trump supporter during his tenure, with Democrats now leveraging his votes against certifying the 2020 results in states like Pennsylvania against him, as well as a failed effort to get Zeldin on the independent party line for the governor despite the photocopied signatures of voters.
With the governor now ending the official COVID-19 state of emergency, Republicans are calling on his party to stop pushing for mail-in voting despite the political benefits for Democrats and the continued risk of infection, though relatively low, at the ballot box.
“It’s the dirty use of a loophole in election law and trying to do it in the name of COVID and public health, I think, is wrong,” Langworthy said.