GOP accuses dems of playing ‘dirty’ by sending out-of-office apps to hochul followers

Republicans are accusing Gov. Kathy Hochul’s supporters of “dirty tricks” for sending voters pre-filled mail-in ballot applications — with COVID-19 already being verified as the reason for remote voting — in what appears to be an aggravated race against Rep. Lee Zeldin ahead of the November 8 elections.

“No one should fill in this field except for the voter who is requesting it,” GOP state chairman Nick Langworthy said Monday of contacting voters.

“It is unscrupulous and at the height of dishonesty and hypocrisy for Democrats to use the guise of COVID while we gather at concerts,” he added, adding what he called “dirty tricks and fraudulent schemes” allegedly used by Democrats .

Still, it’s legal in New York state for a political party or candidate to use publicly available registration records to fill out absentee ballot applications for voters to then sign and mail back to the state electoral commission, voting law experts told The Post on Monday.

But Republicans claim their rivals are expanding the spirit, if not the letter, of the law by using letterheads in their informational materials that appear to mimic official forms used by local and state election officials.

State Democrats declined to say how many motions they blasted statewide, but said they were not aimed beyond the state’s 6.47 million registered Democrats.

Kathy Hochul
Gov. Kathy Hochul signed legislation allowing New Yorkers to use COVID-19 as an official excuse for remote voting.
Robert Mueller
New York Ballot
There are allegations that voters are receiving pre-filled absentee ballot applications.
Paul Martinka

The words “New York State Electoral Assistance Program” appear at the top of a piece of paper accompanying the application, along with a letter identifying the State Democratic Committee as the funder and source of the effort in relatively small type.

“New York State Democrats sent out and paid for a mailer that appeared to be an official New York State document, and it was called the New York State Voter Assistance Program,” Langworthy said Monday.

Mail-in voting has increased dramatically since the COVID-19 pandemic began, with Hochul signing legislation in January allowing New Yorkers to use COVID-19 as an official excuse through the end of the year.

Nick Langoworthy
“No one should fill in this field except for the voter who is requesting it,” said GOP state chairman Nick Langworthy.
AP/Seth Little
Lee Zeldin
The upcoming choice between Lee Zeldin and Kathy Hochul is expected to be a close race.
Robert Mueller

Recent election cycles have shown that the practice benefits Democrats rather than Republicans, particularly after then-President Donald Trump’s attacks on the practice in the run-up to his 2020 election defeat.

Mail voting could give New York’s Democrats a similar advantage in the 2022 gubernatorial race, with polls released in recent days showing Zeldin as close as 6 points and as far as it can go 15 points behind Hochulwho has a major fundraising advantage over Zeldin.

The Long Island Republican was a staunch supporter of Trump during his tenure, and Democrats have now used his votes against certification of the 2020 results in states like Pennsylvania against him, along with a failed attempt to get Zeldin onto the independents’ line despite photocopying Party for the governor to bring signatures from voters.

“Nick Langworthy and Lee Zeldin should take a close look in the mirror given their shared record of spreading misinformation and conspiracy theories about the fall of the 2020 presidential election, as well as the Zeldin campaign’s own ongoing scandal over fraudulently submitted photocopied petition signatures,” Democratic Das shared party spokespersons James Martin in a statement.

Zeldin has been criticized in the past for providing voters with inaccurate information about mail-in ballot deadlines, including in his 2018 re-election campaign for Congress.

With the governor now ending the official COVID-19 state of emergency, Republicans are urging her party to halt the push for mail-in voting despite the political benefits for Democrats and the ongoing, albeit relatively small, risk of infection in the election.

“This is dirty use of a loophole in the electoral law and I find trying to do this in the name of COVID and public health reprehensible,” Langworthy said. GOP accuses dems of playing ‘dirty’ by sending out-of-office apps to hochul followers


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