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New law prevents political parties from changing names once established

A bill approved on Wednesday by Gov. Andrew Cumo would bar new ballot lines from changing their names once created.

“New Yorkers have the right to know who and what exactly they’re voting for when they go to the ballot box,” Governor Cuomo said. “By making this simple change to our election laws, we can ensure political organizations don’t pull the wool over voters’ eyes by claiming to be something they are not in order to gain multi-year legal party status.”

One of the more recent examples of the practice was the creation of the Stop Common Party by the 2014 gubernatorial campaign of Rob Astorino to highlight opposition to the education standards. The party was later changed to the broader-sounding Reform Party.

The bill affects political ballot lines that have status for the next election cycle. It was sponsored by Sen. David Carlucci and Assemblywoman Sandy Galef.

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