Yesterday, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order allowing residents of “federally declared disaster counties” to vote at any polling place they want.
Included in the governor’s order are relief workers who “reside in one of the federally declared disaster counties.”
Problem is, not all the relief workers “reside” in federally declared disaster counties — which include Nassau, Rockland, Suffolk, Westchester, and all the counties in New York City. Many relief workers — transplanted utility workers, National Guardsmen, etc. — reside in counties that aren’t federally declared disaster counties and therefore don’t qualify to vote at any polling place under the governor’s executive order.
The New York State Republican Party is calling on Cuomo to amend his
executive order to include all relief workers, not just relief workers
who “reside” in a federally declared disaster county.
“Our first responders risk their personal safety every day for the good of New York,
and Governor Cuomo has unwittingly disenfranchised thousands of them,” a GOP spokeswoman says.
An administration official in Cuomo’s office tells the Voice that relief workers from
non-federally declared disaster counties aren’t being disenfranchised —
according to the official, they were given the chance to vote.
“They were able to get absentee ballots and we extended the deadline to do so,” the official says.
When asked why the governor wouldn’t just amend the order to include all relief workers, he says it would be “way too broad.”
“There would be no way to enforce who is and who isn’t a first responder,” he says.