Picente: Moving Local and County Elections to Even Years is a Bad Idea
A bill introduced by Democrats in New York to move local elections to even years and held with state and federal elections is a bad idea, accounting to Republicans, including the Oneida County Executive.
Democrats say it's a good idea because it will increase voter turnout. Republicans claim it's a sneaky way for Democrats to "rig" elections.
“The bill proposed by the State Legislature is at best an outrageously transparent attempt to intrude in local elections, while preventing candidates from ever having an ability to get their message out to residents about local issues that affect their everyday lives," said County Exec Anthony Picente. " At worst, it is a blatant political power grab to protect state politicians and punish those who dared defy a gerrymandered partisan drawing of illegal district lines," Picente said.
Proponents contend that voter turnout is extremely low when there are no state or federal
election. An example used in support of the bill cited Onondaga County's 77% turnout rate during the 2020 Presidential election, in contrast with a 31% 2021 voter turnout.
NYS Republican Party Chairman Nick Langworthy and the state Conservative Party have both come out against the bill, claiming it's a way for Democrats to seize power. Democrats contest that the change would reduce election confusion, save taxpayer dollars and make voting easier for New Yorkers.
Picente is vehement in his opposition. "This is politics at its absolute worst and this bill needs to be dropped immediately. The sponsors, and any politician who would vote for this clear violation of home rule, should be ashamed of themselves,” Picente said.