ICYMI – Syracuse: Moving Local Elections Drowns Out Your Voice

In Case You Missed It – this guest essay by Joe Burns in the Syracuse Post-Standard explains how Democrats moving local elections to even years is bad for democracy:

Syracuse Post-Standard Guest Essay: Moving NY’s local elections to even years will drown out your voice

By Joe Burns

Before gaveling out for the year, the New York state Legislature passed a bill to move local elections to even years. These elections — for offices such as county legislature, town clerk and town highway superintendent — are generally elected in odd years. Conducting these local elections on the same ballot as elections for Congress, governor and even president is bad for voters, bad for democracy, and bad for New York.

This monumental shift in how local officials are elected passed the state Senate and Assembly with only hours to go before the 2023 state legislative session ended. It was pushed through each house of the legislature without ever having received a committee hearing. Not one minority party member in either the Senate or Assembly voted in favor of this bill.

Should Gov. Kathy Hochul sign this bill into law, local voices and local concerns will be drowned out by national issues, national concerns and, most importantly, national money. Candidates for Congress, for instance, regularly spend over $1 million in a single election cycle, while candidates running for governor of New York can expect to spend tens of millions of dollars over the course of a campaign. This doesn’t even factor in the additional money spent in these races by millionaires and billionaires through independent expenditure committees. Putting candidates for town council or town supervisor on the same ballot as these state and federal candidates and their multimillion-dollar campaigns will only ensure that voters aren’t able to hear local voices discussing local concerns.

Continue reading at Syracuse.com


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