ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN)– In a lawsuit filed in Saratoga County, state Republican and Conservative parties sued state Democratic leaders and the New York State Board of Elections. The plaintiffs challenged the constitutionality of a law signed last year regarding the procedure in which absentee ballots are examined before Election Day.
Republican Assemblyman Robert Smullen is one of the plaintiffs in the case which was taken up by the New York State Supreme Court.
“There are a lot of safeguards that are in place for absentee ballots,” said Smullen. “What we want to do is make sure those safeguards remain in place because the pandemic is over and we need to get back to normal procedures for elections to ensure that one citizen gets one vote.”
The judge sided with the plaintiffs regarding the procedure for examining absentee ballots, which has caused confusion two weeks before the Election Day.
There is no actual order from the trial court saying what you can or can’t do,” said Susan Lerner, Executive Director of Common Cause NY. “There is a decision that says the change in the law is unconstitutional. So the boards are confused. Some boards have stopped counting absentee ballots. They are waiting for direction either from the court or the state board of elections.”
Political Reporter, Jamie DeLine, reached out to the New York State Board of Elections but did not get a response.
The lawsuit does not impact how or why voters can vote absentee and that they can still send in their ballots.
The New York Attorney General’s Office, Common Cause, and other defendants filed a notice of appeal and a request for a stay. The case will be taken up by the Appellate Division on November 1st.