New York Court Largely Upholds Absentee Voting Law Despite Republican Challenge

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A New York law that aims to simplify the absentee ballot counting process will largely stand after a Republican challenge to the law was mostly rejected earlier today.  

Signed into law in 2021, Assembly Bill 7931 allows for the review of absentee ballots on a rolling basis, requires voters who request an absentee ballot but decide to vote in-person to vote using a provisional ballot and prevents legal challenges to already cast absentee ballots.  

While the Republican plaintiffs had asked for the law to be blocked for the 2024 election, the court only blocked part of the law that pertains to the review of absentee ballots. The rest of the law, the court determined, is “constitutional and valid.” Republicans have now brought two unsuccessful challenges to this law.

After their previous challenge to the law was dismissed ahead of the 2022 midterms, last August, the New York Republican Party and other conservative plaintiffs filed a new challenge to the law. 

The plaintiffs argued that the law’s changes to absentee voting procedures violated the state constitution for several reasons and violated voters’ right to a secret ballot, impaired poll watchers’ ability to challenge ballots and prevented election workers from following state law. 

Republicans have been largely unsuccessful in their challenges to New York election laws including the state’s recently enacted New York Early Mail Voter Act. In February, a trial court dismissed Republicans’ lawsuit against the new law which allows all registered voters to vote by mail during the early voting period. 

Read the opinion here.

Learn more about the case here. 

Learn more about Republicans fighting New York’s election improvements here.