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State court upholds new state law expanding early vote by mail in New York

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  • Staff Report 

In a significant legal development, a New York State Supreme Court Justice has upheld a new state law that enables all registered voters in New York to vote early by mail, rejecting a request for suspension by U.S. Representative Elise Stefanik and the Republican Party.

The GOP, arguing that the law violates the constitution, has promptly appealed the decision of Justice Christina L. Ryba. The appeal aims for a temporary injunction while the case is argued, with Stefanik pushing for a definitive ruling before the 2024 elections, where New York’s congressional races could be pivotal for congressional control.

DiSanto Propane (Billboard)

The legal battle initiated by Stefanik emerged after Governor Kathy Hochul signed a Democrat-backed law facilitating mail voting for all New Yorkers, a shift from the previous requirement of valid excuses like military duty or travel. Stefanik contends that expanding mail voting eligibility requires a constitutional amendment, referencing a 2021 ballot proposition for no-excuse absentee voting rejected by voters.

Judge Ryba dismissed the GOP’s request for a preliminary injunction to prevent the law’s 2024 implementation, stating that Republicans failed to prove “irreparable harm” from the law.