The New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) is urging Governor Kathy Hochul to reject a controversial bill aimed at relocating local elections to even-numbered years, a move which met unanimous opposition from delegates representing 57 counties during NYSAC’s recent annual fall conference.
The bipartisan group claims the bill’s passage occurred abruptly, lacking the customary committee discussions and due process and allowing no input from the counties and towns it affects.
NYSAC officials and various county leaders believe this shift would detract from the local focus of county leaders who are intertwined with their communities and local issues, arguing that merging local elections with federal and state ones can diminish the importance of local concerns such as water, sewer, and housing.
They contend that having local elections on a different schedule allows for a concentrated focus on these regional matters.
Critics also dispute the notion that the bill would increase voter turnout and insist that there would be no significant improvements in efficiency or cost for election boards, highlighting numerous exceptions within the bill that would necessitate the continuation of odd-year elections for certain positions and locales. The counties believe this legislation would dilute the significance of local elections and are calling on Governor Hochul to intervene and veto the bill.
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