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

Posted on April 04, 2019 at 9:33 AM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 19, 2018

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Jeremy Gruber

jgruber@openprimaries.org

(609) 610-1602

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

New York – September 19, 2018 –Tomorrow Manhattan attorney Mark Moody’s lawsuit on behalf of 3.2 million registered independent New Yorkers who were shut out of the 2016 Presidential Primary will be heard on appeal.

After facing disenfranchisement himself, Mark brought this lawsuit which seeks to toss out the state's current voter eligibility regulations for primaries. It also 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.

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: Thursday, September 20th, 2 p.m.

Where: Appellate Division: First Department, 27 Madison Ave, NYC.

Who: Parties involved:

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

New York taxpayers, including independent voters, pay $25 million for the administration of every primary election in the state but it is one of only 9 states in the country with completely closed primaries that allow the Democrat and Republican parties to shut out independent voters. As the number of independent voters continues to rise-with 42% of voters, including 50% of millennials nationally identifying as independent-increasingly undemocratic elections are resulting.

As many activists, civic leaders, elected officials, and good government organizations have noted, New York has the worst elections laws in the country.  New York has no early voting (unlike 37 states), no Election Day registration, a partisan board of elections, excuse-only absentee balloting (voters have to prove they’ll be out of town or have a disability) and holds multiple primary elections on different dates.  

NY also has the longest deadline for changing party registration, requiring voters to do so at least 6 months in advance of an election. In 2016, that meant voters would have had to do so before the presidential candidates were even fully identified.

Mark’s case takes on even more urgency in light of the failure by political leaders at all levels in the state to address NYs broken election system which was once again on display in the 2018 primary season.

Among reform supporters attending tomorrow’ hearing and standing with Mark Moody will be the national political reform organization, Open Primaries

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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. For more information about Open Primaries and its work, visit www.openprimaries.org


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