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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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35 Comments

Happy Woodsider

Katz seems more qualify than the queer Latina who calls herself THAT. Right from the horses mouth .

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John B.

Cuomo endorsed Katz and definitely needs Cabán to lose – he has always been a strong supporter of the corrupt Queens Machine and machine attorneys Bolz and Reich are defending Katz for free – they need to make sure Caban never gets elected – or she might investigate their long history of election tampering. Cuomo could sign , he just won’t.

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Gardens Watcher

The bill (along with hundreds of other bills) hasn’t even been sent to Cuomo yet.

Read the article. And read the bill.

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Common sense

Why would he sign a law that would clearly favor one candidate? Imagine in sports they’d be changing rules of the game retroactively… it’d be absurd and clearly corrupt. They do stuff like this in 3rd world countries.

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Gardens Watcher

Oh yeah, just what this tightly contested race needs — more controversy.

Cuomo is doing the right thing, and those public officials and critics who are insinuating voter suppression, conspiracy or fraud are flat out irresponsible. The bill isn’t even law yet, and even if it were signed tomorrow, to apply it retroactively to the DA primary race is not only “absurd” — it would inject even more uncertainty and probable delay to the recount. What would constitute “substantially complied” and who would get to make that decision?

The Affidavit Oath printed on the affidavit ballot envelope asks basic, simple questions to verify voter identification and party affiliation. It’s not that complicated.

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JimmyB.

I think “gardens watcher”, who always protects the corrupt Queens machine , is Crowley, Bolz or Reich? All of them have become millionaires due to controlling Queens courts — and they need Katz to win!
Collect your salary “gardens watcher” from Bolz. And Crowley wants to control Katz post as borough president, and appoint his cousin or some other inarticulate Crowley – so they can maintain “influence “ in Queens politics because all the Crowley’s and Martinezs are now unethical lobbyists !

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Gardens Watcher

JimmyB & relatives: you keep repeating your same old untrue tirade under different names. Just stop already. It’s boring.

I’m not part of any “machine” and nobody is paying me.

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David

Oh Lily- “Loves abortion”howchild “like” and naive of you but then again that is exactly the type the GOP targets. Plastic bags clogging sewers, stuck to trees and plastics along with plastic bags polluting our oceans should be ignored. There are no other problems in the world just the Fox News talking points.

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[email protected]

You’d support a law that allowed mother’s that are 1 day pregnant to claim the fetus as a dependent on their taxes, right?

If not, it’s a shame you don’t believe life begins at conception.

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Glenda Kuller

I was A supporter of Melinda Katz for several years until she
became outspoken against our
sitting Commander-In-Chief and supporting abortions even
in the 9th month and applauding the bill passed to allow infanticide. I warned her friend
Mr Pollack(former Assemblyman)that Ms Katz needs to stop trashing TRUMP as there are many hidden voters who are offended by her grandstanding. I hope Caban wins even though I do not agree with her policy.

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Gardens Watcher

Glenda, I don’t know anybody who is not unhappy with Trump. That’s putting it mildly. Most are furious with how HE has trashed the office of the Presidency. But he’s not at issue in this race, and neither is abortion.

The Queens DA is responsible for the prosecution of violations of NY state laws, not federal laws.

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Oh lily

I’m happy with trump
There are many of us here
Try walking out of the gardens

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Glenda Kuller

Thank you for your reply.
If things keep up you will not recognize our State and Country with all the ultra radical ideas in play.
I believe in Conservative good old fashioned values. They are being buried by the few.
You say you know of no one who approves of our president. That is because
they are mostly populated
in Middle-America. All the hidden voters and supporters do not reveal
their true preferences but
when Trump us re-elected in 20-20 you will begin
to understand as 2016 proved otherwise that Hillary Clinton was “A Shoe-In”. Did you believe
it then?

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Gardens Watcher

Let’s just agree on one thing: to follow the law and count all the valid votes.

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Gardens Watcher

Read Tom Friedman’s op-ed in today’s NYTimes 7/17. Especially the online 4000+ comments.

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eddie from woodside

i would like to personally apologize the all of america for not working hard enough to stop the socialist nuts from queens!!

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Jimmy

Better than the corrupt, greedy Queens machine of Crowley family , Bolz, Reich , Sweeney, Martinez- they all milked queens for decades .

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Leslie Gevirtz

So much for Cuomo the reformer. That’s what he called himself when he was first running for governor. But a man who can shut down an ethics investigation, who is the only one of the 3 men in a room left unindicted probably doesn’t care about playing fair or “doing the right thing.”

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Oh, Lily

When you have a ONE PARTY SYSTEM which we now have in New York, this is what you get. #libshappy

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Anonymous

None of the dems really care about ethics, vote Republican in the general election.

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Doesn’t matter

This is not in the hands of the newly passed law, it’s in the hands of the courts, who have ruled that substantially (if not exactly) filled ballots and affidavits that show intent can be counted. This swings it very heavily in favor of Caban who will likely regain a slim but close to 1,000 vote win.

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Gardens Watcher

Not exactly. Judge Ingram (brought in from Brooklyn, not Queens courts) is not going to rule on the contested affidavits unless it would make a difference once the recount of all valid ballots already cast is completed.

As the 92K+ ballots are recounted by hand by teams of bi-partisan BOE workers (and overseen by lawyers & other observers) over the next few weeks, they will review all ballots cast, including some that may have been rejected by the scanner — like if a voter didn’t exactly fill in the bubble, or made a check mark, or circled the candidate’s name. If voter intent is clear, it will probably be counted. But if a voter voted for more than one candidate for DA, or if they made other marks or signed the ballot, those ballots will still be rejected.

Bottom line: it’s unclear who will benefit from the recount.

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James B.

Gardens watcher aka joe Crowley – Cuomo is disenfranchising voters like your family did for years to keep Joe Crowley in Congress- he NEVER could have won on talent or intellect – only reason he stayed in office for 2 decades – due to vote tampering by His attorneys Bolz and Reich , who are now “volunteering” for Katz! They need her to keep their corrupt cash flow !

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Dave

Why worry about Russia buying a few facebook ads when we have straight up, in-house election fraud running rampant?

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Yessenia

Racist democrats strike again. They want to keep minorities in jail!! Time these old gringos are voted out of office!!

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wait wat

Caban has a huge list of reforms for the criminal justice system. You should maybe learn, say, a single thing?

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Anon

Some of us understand all of her positions, it’s just that we know she is wrong on nearly every single one of them. The last thing the Queens DA’s office needs is a public defender with no experience. Before her defenders bring him, .

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Trump just told 3 natural-born American congresswomen to "go back to your own country"

Democrats want to lessen the penalties for the non-violent offenses people of color are arrested for.

Sorry how does that make them racist? lmao

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Anonymous

Practical normal Democrats strike again. They want to keep criminals in jail!!! There ya go, I fixed it for you. As for the “gringos” comment, I doubt the racial slurs directed at any other group would be tolerated on this board. Vote Republican in the general election, the dems have acknowledged that they are all crooks.

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