Democratic Groups Seek To Defend Absentee Voting in New York

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Wednesday, Oct. 5, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), a congressional candidate, the New York State Democratic Committee chair, the Wyoming County Democratic Committee and New York voters filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit brought by multiple conservative groups challenging two New York absentee voting laws: Senate Bill 1027-A and Senate Bill 7565-B. S.B. 1027-A governs who is eligible to vote absentee and how absentee ballots are processed, while S.B. 7565-B permits people to vote absentee if they are concerned about contracting an illness such as COVID-19. The conservative groups argue that S.B. 1027-A, which allows for the expedited counting and canvassing of absentee ballots every four days leading up to Election Day, violates the New York Constitution because “the Legislature exceeded the authority granted to it.” Additionally, the plaintiffs claim that the law violates their right to free speech and “impermissibly opens the election process to the counting of invalid and improper votes, including fraudulent votes” since the law does not give partisan watchers “meaningful participation in the canvass.” With regards to S.B. 7565-B, the plaintiffs contend that the New York Constitution does not provide a right to “vote by absentee ballot” and assert that the law’s permission of illness as an excuse to vote absentee violates the New York Constitution.

In the motion to intervene, the DCCC and other proposed intervenors assert that the conservative groups waited until the eve of the election to file this lawsuit, alleging that the “[p]etitioners launched this broad assault on New York’s absentee voting laws while absentee voting is already underway.” The Democratic groups point out that absentee voting for the 2022 midterm elections started on Sept. 23 but the conservative groups waited until Sept. 27 to file this lawsuit. The proposed intervenors note that if the conservative groups were to succeed, “voters will need to take unnecessary risks to cast their ballots and voters who have already cast ballots may have their ballots challenged or even threatened with disqualification.”

Read the motion to intervene here.

Learn more about the case here.