New York State Supreme Court to Hear Arguments in Lawsuit Deeming State’s Closed Primaries and Voter Eligibility Regulations Unconstitutional - Open Primaries
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Posted on December 06, 2016 at 12:56 PM

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Jeremy Gruber
Senior Vice President
jgruber@openprimaries.org
(609) 610-1602

New York State Supreme Court to Hear Arguments in Lawsuit Deeming State’s Closed Primaries and Voter Eligibility Regulations Unconstitutional

In response to the public demand for primary reform and after facing disenfranchisement himself in the 2016 presidential primaries, Manhattan attorney Mark Moody brings a lawsuit on behalf of 3.2 million New Yorkers who were shut out of this year’s Presidential Primary against the New York State and New York City Board of Elections. The lawsuit seeks to toss out the state's current voter eligibility regulations for primaries, which are among the most restrictive in the nation.

What: New York State Supreme Court Hearing, Moody v. NYS & NYC Board of Elections
           Challenges the legality of New York’s closed primary system

When: Tuesday, December 6th, 3:30 p.m.

Where: Judge Engoron's Courtroom, Room 328 | 80 Centre Street, New York, NY 10013

Who: Parties involved:

  • Mark Moody, Esquire, M W Moody LLC
  • The New York State and New York City Board of Elections

In New York, the party-switching deadline for the April primary was Oct. 9, 2015, the longest deadline in the entire country — more than six months before the primaries and well before the candidates were even all identified. Moody’s lawsuit charges that requiring New Yorkers to choose party affiliation at any point in advance of casting a vote in any primary election for public office violates the New York State Constitution. Along with the lawsuit, Moody filed a motion requesting the Court issue a subpoena to be served on President-elect Trump’s children, Ivanka and Eric, to testify about their inabiity to vote for their own father in the primaries due to the absurdly early party-switching deadline. Next week’s hearing will determine whether Moody’s lawsuit against the NYS and NYC Board of Elections will move forward.

Among reform supporters attending the Dec. 6th hearing and standing with Mark Moody will be the national political reform organization, Open Primaries, who last week submitted a petition garnering over 3,400 signatures to Senator Bernie Sanders requesting his attendance at the hearing. During the 2016 presidential primaries, Sanders advocated for open primaries, standing with New Yorkers on April 19th by calling for the enfranchisement of the 3.2 million New York voters who were barred from participating in the state’s primary election.

Following next week’s hearing, Moody will be testifying at the NYC Votes’ open meeting aimed at allowing the public to voice their concerns with the administration of the 2016 election cycle. NYC Votes is the non-partisan voter engagement campaign of the New York City Campaign Finance Board and its Voter Assistance Advisory Committee. This meeting will be held at the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development at 5:30 p.m. that same Tuesday.

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Open Primaries is a national, nonprofit 501(c)(4) organization working to enact open and nonpartisan primary systems, counter efforts to impose closed primaries, educate voters, train and support spokespeople, and participate in the building of local, state and national open primaries coalitions. Open Primaries is a movement of diverse Americans who believe in a simple, yet radical idea: no American should be required to join a political party to exercise their right to vote.


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