NY’s Schumer Shows Contempt for His Own State’s Voters

Senator Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has been trying to eliminate the filibuster rule in order to force two dangerous election bills through Congress. 

While the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act have many reckless, unwise provisions that would destroy the integrity and security of elections, there are two provisions in particular that illustrate Schumer’s disdain for the voters of his own state and how these bills are a direct attack on democracy.

Among the many negative provisions in the Freedom to Vote Act, which should be called “The Freedom to Cheat Act”, are two that would require states to implement same-day voter registr (Section 1031) and no-fault absentee voter (Section 1301).

Same-day voter registration would require states to allow an individual to register to vote in a polling place on Election Day and then immediately vote, giving election officials no time to verify the accuracy of the registration information or the voter’s eligibility. 

It also makes it difficult to predict the number of ballots or workers needed in each precinct. When combined with another provision in the bill that guts state photo voter-ID laws, it’s an invitation to fraud.

The no-fault absentee vote provision would force states to allow any person to use an absentee poll and override state laws requiring an excuse (e.g., being disabled or out of town on Election Day). 

There is no denying that absentee ballots are necessary for those who are unable to make it to the polls.  But, increasing mail-in votes is not a good idea. Mail-in ballots are more vulnerable to fraud and delayed delivery than those cast in person at the polling place. 

Absentee ballots are voted outside the supervision of election officials and outside the observation of poll observers and have been recognized as the “tool of choice” of vote thieves. 

Additionally, while states have bans on electioneering in polling places, there are no prohibitions on electioneering in voters’ homes. Voters are vulnerable to pressure and intimidation by candidates, campaign workers, political party activists, and paid political agents.

The voters of New York recognize those risks and don’t want such rules in their state. How can we know this? Because in last November’s election, they defeated attempts to implement same-day registration and no-fault absentee voting in New York. 

Referendum 3, which would have allowed same-day voter registration was defeated by 58% to 42%. Most states require people to register before an electoral election. New York’s deadline is 25 days before Election Day.  

The fact that New York does not require ID to register for the same day raises serious security concerns. Anyone willing to cheat can walk into any polling place (or places), register under a fake name and address, cast a ballot, then walk out of the polling place scot-free—and election officials can do absolutely nothing to stop it.

Referendum 4, a referendum that would have allowed no-fault absentee votes, was also defeated 56% to 44%. Like many other states, New York allows absentee ballots to also be used by voters who have been absent or are physically disabled.

Yet Schumer and New York’s other Democratic senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, are both trying to get a bill through the Senate that would go directly against the will of their constituents in the state they represent. This is a sign of their contempt for their voters.

Moreover, what could be more anti-democratic than overriding the will of the voters of New York—as expressed in an election—in which they specifically said they wanted neither of those policies implemented in their state? 

Schumer, Gillibrand aren’t trying to protect voting rights like they claim. They are trying to disenfranchise New York voters and the voting decisions made by those voters in the previous election.

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