New York Republicans challenge early voting laws

On Sept. 20, a group of Republican lawmakers and groups sued Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) and the New York State Board of Elections over NY S07394, which modifies the state’s early voting laws.

Hochul signed S07394 on Sept. 20. The bill allows registered voters to request and vote early by a mail-in ballot. The plaintiffs, including U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R), the New York Republican State Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee, and the Republican National Committee, allege the laws violate the state’s constitution: “The State’s constitutional and electoral history shows that mail voting must be expressly authorized by the Constitution. The default constitutional requirement is that voters cast their ballots ‘at’ the election itself, not from afar.”

Stefanik said, “Kathy Hochul and extreme New York Democrats are trying to destroy what is left of election integrity in New York. As a New York voter, I am proud to lead this coalition in defending basic election integrity on behalf of all New Yorkers.”

In a statement released after signing the bill into law, Hochul said, “The message is that people’s votes matter, people’s lives matter, and you don’t have to compromise to protect both. You can have the right to vote and continue on with life. So, you’re also fulfilling your duties as a citizen. If you don’t want to expand the right to vote, here’s where you fall. You can either be on the side of democracy or against democracy.”