NY governor resorts to Covid absentee ballots in tight race

by WorldTribune Staff, September 13, 2022

As her race against GOP candidate Lee Zeldin tightens, New York Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul has reached into a bag of “dirty tricks” to send out absentee ballots already checked with Covid as the reason for voting remotely, state Republicans say.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and GOP opponent Lee Zeldin

Democrats sent out the ballot applications with the Covid markings event though Hochul has ended the New York’s Covid-19 state of emergency.

“No one should fill out that box, but the voter who’s requesting,” New York GOP state Chair Nick Langworthy said Monday, the New York Post reported.

Recent polling shows Zeldin as close as 6 points behind Hochul despite the incumbent governor’s huge fundraising advantage. Hochul was not elected governor, but was lieutenant governor when disgraced Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned.

“It’s unconscionable and at the height of dishonesty and hypocrisy that Democrats are using the guise of Covid while we gather at concerts,” he added about what he called “dirty tricks and deceitful schemes” purportedly used by Hochul’s team.

“This is the dirty use of a loophole in the election law and trying to do this in the name of Covid and public health I think is reprehensible,” Langworthy said.

The words “New York State voter Assistance Program” appear at the top of one sheet of paper that accompanies the ballot application alongside a letter, in a smaller font, that discloses the State Democratic Committee as the funder and source of the effort.

“New York State Democrats sent out and paid for a mailer that was made to look like it is an official document from New York State and it was called the New York State Voter Assistance Program,” Langworthy said.

Citing election law experts, the Post reported that it is legal in New York state for political parties or candidates to use publicly available registration records to fill in absentee ballot applications for voters to then sign and return to the state Board of Elections.

“But Republicans allege that 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 Post noted.

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