While Governor Cuomo has included measures in his State of the State aimed at strengthening and expanding access to elections via expansion of absentee ballots, quite remarkably he has been quietly weakening and restricting voter access to candidates and political parties. Governor Cuomo took action in early 2020 to eliminate minor political parties by attaching a law to the budget under the cover of darkness dictating that all political parties not only must earn 50,000 votes on a gubernatorial line but must earn 2 percent of the vote on a presidential line. One of the most burdensome requirements in the nation. Gone are the Independence, Libertarian, Green and SAM party lines on the ballot as of November 2020. SAM-NY will continue to support and endorse candidates moving forward despite the Governor and await a decision on our federal lawsuit challenging Cuomo’s action.
At a time when our problems are not being solved, more and more New Yorkers are leaving the two major parties, as well as New York, we need more choice, transparency and open debate. We are at our best when a diversity of voices and ideas can be heard. Let’s truly reform New York’s arcane election laws designed to keep candidates off the ballot and ensure the “right” candidate wins. What are we afraid of?