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Cuomo Shuts Down Hope of Signing Voter Reform Law That Could Affect Queens DA Race

Governor Andrew Cuomo. (Andrew Cuomo)

July 11, 2019 By Laura Hanrahan

Statements by Governor Andrew Cuomo leave little room for hope of a last-minute signing of a voter reform law that could impact the outcome of the contentious Queens District Attorney Democratic primary race.

The bill, which would loosen the requirements for validating an affidavit ballot, was passed by State legislators in Albany last month but has not yet been sent over for approval to Cuomo, who endorsed Melinda Katz in the DA race.

The validity of affidavit ballots has been a focal point of the election, which is currently undergoing a manual recount. With only 16 votes separating candidates Tiffany Cabán and Katz, and more than 2,300 affidavit ballots having been ruled invalid by the Board of Elections, the Cabán team has been making a heavy push in recent days to get the Governor to sign the bill.

If the bill becomes law, affidavit ballots would no longer be nullified over technicalities such as not including a past address on the envelope, and would be counted as long as the voter “substantially complied” with the form.

This week, however, Cuomo indicated that he is in no rush to receive or sign the bill. He said that it would be “absurd” to apply the law retroactively to the June 25 DA primary, according to reports. He went on to state that he would review the bill, along with several other voter reform bills, some time before November.

Cabán, Katz and the BOE are currently entangled in a court case concerning the validity of 114 affidavit ballots that were previously ruled invalid for various information errors. Roughly 70 of these ballots were voided after the voter forgot to write “Democrat” on a line on the form that asked for party affiliation. The ballots will be reviewed by a judge who will determine their validity.

A ruling in the court case will not be made until the manual recount has ended, which will likely be some time after July 18. Cabán supporters were hopeful that if the law were passed before the recount ended, it could be taken into consideration.

Assembly Member Ron Kim, who represents parts of northeast Queens, spoke out against the legislative inaction on Twitter, stating that if the bill is not sent to Cuomo and signed, “we will all be complicit in suppressing voters.”

The Katz campaign, which made an unexpected comeback during the affidavit and absentee ballot count after being down by 1,199 votes on election night, does not support the push to get Cuomo to sign the bill, calling it a “latest Hail Mary attempt” on the part of the Cabán team.

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15 Comments

Steven Inyouarse

We all know Cuomo is in the bag for Katz. If you trust Andrew Cuomo to do the right thing, then you are not paying attention very much. The guy is wholly suspect.

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Gardens Watcher

“Loosening the requirements” now really equates to changing the election laws after the election took place.

I guess it depends on what the definition of “substantially” is. Yikes.

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may the best person win, hopefully not caban

just like hillary, want to change the rules after you lose.
democrats are just so damn pathetic.
if you, you win. whats so hard to understand?

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Except Hillary didn't want to change the rules after she won by 3 million votes

So you’re completely wrong.

The bill in question was passed by State legislators in Albany last month. That’s in the second sentence. Oops, completely wrong again.

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VVNY

Tell me what exactly she won when the rules of the game were to win you need x amount of delegates while she ‘won’ only the popular vote. If the rules of presidential election were that to win you needed the popular vote then political campaigns and electorate would have followed different patterns and who knows who would have won the popular vote then. Typical liberal logic is to always change the rules after the game is played dismissing the possibility that if the other side was aware of the rules you are trying to impose retroactively then the outcome of the game played using the supposed rules would have been different.

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MRLIC

I guess Cuomo is not as far left as he says. Why does Caban and company want to loosen the requirement on these ballots?To win obviously. The ballot should be filled out correctly and there appears to be room for fraud in these ballots. Caban did well in western Queens as her people got voters to come out in Astoria and LIC. Katz won 12 out of the 18 districts in queens but Caban did extra Good in western queens it made it close. That means there is no Socialist wave as the entire borough really wanted Katz. The newcomers mostly Democrats almost 10,000 in Western queens who moved here in the past couple of years in their new luxury Apartments are Elitist Democratic socialists. This is said in a Friday NY post Article. So in the next election Western queens come out and vote out these Democratic Socialists.

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ActualLIC

Caban lives in Astoria so obviously she did better there. She’s not wealthy, and the average income in Astoria is not very high. In addition, western Queens is young, and young people are progressive.

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It's cute when you pretend to care about elitists

You voted for the celebrity billionaire game show host that lives in a golden tower with his name on it, when he’s not flying private jets to the largest privately-owned residence in Florida.

But democrats are elitist because they have an apartment? You have no integrity at all.

Not a single republican lives in an apartment? You didn’t really think this through.

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Steven Inyourarse

The requirements are absurd. They are completely there to rig the election. Establishment Dems & Republicans are the same.

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Gardens Watcher

Nothing’s “rigged, Steven Funny Last Name. The affidavit envelopes in question are sealed, so no one has seen the cast ballot inside the envelope.

Of course if you have an army of volunteers to call that voter and ask who they voted for (like Cabán’s team did), then I guess you would know. Unethical?

I would have answered that call with a “it’s none of your business!”

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Affidavit Voter

I filled out an affidavit ballot, and they didn’t go over what needed to be filled out exactly. The poll workers should make sure that everything is accurately filled out when the accept the sealed envelope. Not blaming them, but there should be more direction.

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Steven Inyourarse

Do you even understand what Caban stands for? Have you ever been to a little place called EUROPE!? Where they live far better than we do because they are humane and support social programs. Please try to use some intelligence.

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