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Republicans sue NY Gov. Hochul over expansion of absentee voting

"Kathy Hochul and extreme New York Democrats are trying to destroy what is left of election integrity in New York," Stefanik said.

Published: September 20, 2023 5:50pm

Updated: September 20, 2023 6:16pm

A group of Republican organizations have sued New York Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul over her signing of a measure to expand absentee voting in the Empire State.

Hochul on Wednesday signed a slew of measures to expanding voting access, among them a measure widening the grounds for requesting an absentee ballot.

"We are further cementing New York’s place as a national leader on voting rights," Hochul posted after the signing. "By safeguarding the integrity of our electoral process and ensuring equal access to the ballot box, we empower every New Yorker to have their voice heard."

Republicans, meanwhile, have questioned the constitutionality of the effort. Led by New York Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik, a coalition of Republican-aligned groups contends that the effort would "remove basic safeguards on absentee voting and [allow] unregulated mass mail ballots in clear violation of the state constitution.

"Kathy Hochul and extreme New York Democrats are trying to destroy what is left of election integrity in New York," Stefanik said. "Under Kathy Hochul's failed leadership, elections are less secure and less transparent and will now be unconstitutional. As a New York voter, I am proud to lead this coalition in defending basic election integrity on behalf of all New Yorkers."

The state constitution restricts absentee ballots to sick individuals or those who will not be present in their municipality on Election Day. The measure Hochul signed, however, will permit voters to request an absentee ballot for early voting. Voters, however, rejected a constitutional amendment in 2021 that would have enshrined expanded absentee ballot access in the state constitution.

Former New York Republican Rep. Joe Sempolinski told Just the News that the measure "blatantly violates the spirit of the constitution and is a pretty transparent attempt to avoid violating the letter of the constitution to put in place something the voters roundly rejected only two years ago."

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter.

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