New York election rule that ‘nationalizes’ local politics stays under the spotlight despite being’monumental’: expert

Spread the love

A “revolutionary” election law change that will nationalize and modify the fabric of local elections occurred in New York, but according to an election attorney, the majority of the public has not been aware of it. This change will have a significant impact on the voting process.

“It really hasn’t even gotten the attention within New York that I would have thought it would have gotten, because again, this is a monumental change to the electorate,” said Joe Burns, an election attorney for the Republican Party in New York, in an interview

To relocate town, village, and county elections to even-numbered years, along with higher-profile governor and even presidential elections, Democratic New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed a law that was supported by Democrats just a few days before Christmas. As a result of the new rule, local elections are likely to be disrupted because they are anticipated to be overshadowed by big campaigns for state and federal offices. Additionally, local politicians may shift their focus to national concerns rather than hyper-local campaign platforms, as noted by Burns to Fox News Digital.

New York election rule that 'nationalizes' local politics stays under the spotlight despite being'monumental': expert
New York election rule that ‘nationalizes’ local politics stays under the spotlight despite being’monumental’: expert

When asked about it, Burns stated, “It is in every way revolutionary.”

This month, Republicans in Onondaga County, New York, which is located in the middle of the state and is home to Syracuse, decided to authorize $100,000 in money to begin the process of suing New York State. They said that the drastic changes violated local rules, and they had the support of the Republican party.

Timothy Burtis, the Republican chairman of the Onondaga County Legislature, was quoted as saying, “We will authorize County Executive Ryan McMahon to pursue legal action opposing New York state’s latest overreach against the county’s constitutional and chartered independence.” Spectrum News reported that Burtis made this statement.

“The new law is a bold attempt to dismantle Onondaga County‚Äôs legal independence without due process,” according to Burtis.

Republicans in the county have stated that the new law constitutes an assault on the charter of their county.

This is the most significant problem, according to Burns, who stated that the state constitution offers a great deal of protection for the manner in which they organize themselves. Meaning, that the state just can’t step in and compel that these local offices – county executives, county legislators – ask that they shorten their terms, require that they then elect the officers on even years,” Burns said.

Last week, Burns wrote a letter to the Onondaga County Legislature, stating that the “radical change” is “bad for our local governments, and bad for democracy.” This letter was sent before the money was officially set aside for the case.

Do we really require anything like this in this day and age of vehement and hyperpartisan politics in New York? Is it going to support our democratic system? Is it going to make our system of self-government an improvement? Without a doubt, no, and no,” Burns stated.

New York election rule that 'nationalizes' local politics stays under the spotlight despite being'monumental': expert
New York election rule that ‘nationalizes’ local politics stays under the spotlight despite being’monumental’: expert

Due to the fact that high-profile presidential or state elections attract a greater number of voters than local election turnout, Democrats who backed the bill believed that it would improve voter turnout during those elections. Over the course of the past few years, the law had been discussed in Albany, and it was anticipated that it would be passed in 2022; however, this did not occur. It was in June, just a few hours before the conclusion of the legislative session in 2023, that the law was ultimately adopted by both the State Assembly and the Senate.

In the following year, the law will become the official law.

According to Burns, “I think it’s a great argument,” when asked about the way in which Republicans in the county are preparing the case. “This new law, forcing these counties to elect their officials on even years, violates Article IX of the state constitution, which includes the local government bill of rights.”

He told Fox News Digital that he feels there is “a very high likelihood of success” with the case, and that other counties may soon follow suit or are at least monitoring the issue. The attorney from New York gave his opinion to Fox News Digital.

It’s possible that other counties will decide to let them move on. We can only hope that they will be successful. After that, that would be applicable to other county governments that are comparable, particularly counties that have a charter, such as the one in Onondaga County,” he explained.

During the gerrymander spree of 2024, Democrats are turning to state courts as a political “weapon,” according to experts.

New York election rule that 'nationalizes' local politics stays under the spotlight despite being'monumental': expert
New York election rule that ‘nationalizes’ local politics stays under the spotlight despite being’monumental’: expert

Despite the fact that the law shifted elections for county and town, it does not effect elections for city, district attorney, or sheriff positions because those elections are governed by the constitution of the state. As a result of the fact that the law does not apply to New York City, Burns stated that the significant election shift has probably garnered little notice from both the local and national levels.

A bird’s-eye view of the Manhattan downtown area
New York City is not impacted by the ordinance in any way. (Photograph by Joshua Comins for Fox News)

Is there a place that is not only the media capital of New York, but most likely the entire world? There is New York City. What do you think, then? In New York City, what kinds of things are there? There are city offices for them. That is, they are not impacted in any way.”

Nevertheless, Burns noted that local governments outside of cities will likely see their candidates shift their focus to national issues rather than local issues such as infrastructure or the deployment of snow trucks to clear roads during a storm. This is because national issues are more important than local issues.

It is proposed that elections for posts such as town clerk, town highway superintendent, and county legislator would be included on the same ballot as elections for Congress, the United States Senate, and the President of the United States of America in the General Election. In the letter that Burns wrote in support of the planned lawsuit, he stated that candidates in these races for local office, which are races in which candidates might raise and spend as little as a couple thousand dollars in an entire campaign cycle, will be forced to compete with candidates in multimillion-dollar contests for the attention of voters.

“Local concerns will be silent; local politics will be nationalized.”


Spread the love