Last Friday, June 7, New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. announced the passage of legislation intended to make voting easier and more accessible for residents.
Currently, absentee ballots for primary elections omit party position of ward, town, city or county committee due to lack of space on ballots from the time that lever machines were used to cast votes. This issue was brought to the attention of the Assemblyman by the East Hampton Democratic Committee when a local candidate was visiting the home of a permanently disabled, housebound gentleman who had a perfect history of voting by absentee ballot, however, was disenfranchised from voting for the very people who represented him on the Democratic Committee. Thiele’s legislation would correct this inequity and update the Election Law by placing these positions back on the ballot to ensure that Election Day ballots and absentee ballots match.
“Voting is not only the right of every American but also a hallmark of our values and our democracy,” said Mr. Thiele in a statement. “Voters must be afforded every opportunity to have their voices heard to help determine the direction of their communities, our State and our Nation. I was pleased to work with Senator Myrie in advancing yet another important voting reform measure during the 2019 Legislative Session.”
This legislation has passed both Houses of the Legislature and will be sent to the Governor for his executive action before the end of the year.