A NY Threat to Voting Integrity

Besides electing candidates for local offices this year, we voters in New York State will also be deciding whether to add three new amendments to our state constitution. All of them deal with elections and voting—and all of them, in my view, will undermine voting integrity, with dire consequences for our efforts to protect the unborn.

You may not even be aware of these propositions. There has been very little publicity or discussion about them. And reading the wording on the ballot will not be very helpful. It is short and innocuous, with little explanation and no discussion of their pros and cons.

For this reason—and because of my concerns about their potential impact on our efforts to protect life, defend religious freedom, and uphold parental rights and family values—I have gotten involved in a grass roots effort to inform New Yorkers about these proposals before we vote (early voting begins this weekend, and Election Day is Tuesday, November 2).

Ballot Proposition 1: Redistricting. This state constitutional amendment would undermine the Independent Redistricting Commission adopted by voters just seven years ago to end partisan redrawing of state and Congressional legislative districts. This would empower the majority party to control redistricting to its partisan advantage.

But don’t take my word for it. Newsday editorialized last week that “Albany’s Democratic supermajority is trying here to tinker prematurely with New York’s new system for drawing state and federal district lines,” in order “to trash the commission’s work and draw its own maps.”

“Vote no” on Proposition 1, Newsday urges.

We have already seen what this one-party stranglehold on state government has meant for the unborn in New York: enactment of a radical pro-abortion law that goes even beyond the extremes of Roe v. Wade. And there remains the looming threat of legislation targeting pro-life pregnancy support services for extinction if they do not refer for abortions.

Ballot Proposition 3: Same Day Registration. This proposition would amend the state Constitution to allow Election Day registration, with no adequate time for verifying the eligibility of new registrants before they vote. And they will vote by machine, rather than paper ballot, so their votes cannot be disqualified if it is later determined that their registration is invalid. Moreover, such last-minute new voter registration will only encourage more of the kind of 11th hour negative smear campaigns, often based on half-truths or outright falsehoods, that so poison our political system.

Ballot Proposition 4: Absentee Ballots. This proposition would amend the state Constitution to allow “no-excuses” absentee voting. Currently, New Yorkers must have a reason—illness, disability, scheduled absence from home on Election Day—to vote by absentee ballot. Allowing universal absentee voting will—as we saw last year, when such voting was allowed due to the Covid pandemic—result in extraordinary delays in tallying election results. Worse, it is an open invitation to vote harvesting and outright fraud.

Again, don’t take my word for it. In 2005, a bipartisan commission chaired by former President Jimmy Carter and former Reagan and Bush White House Chief of Staff James Baker warned that “Absentee ballots remain the largest source for potential voter fraud” through such corruption as ballots being intercepted in the mail, pressure and intimidation of voters, and vote-buying schemes. They recommended extensive safeguards against such practices before absentee balloting is expanded. None of those safeguards are included in this proposed amendment.

Here in New York, amending the state Constitution is a two-step process. Proposed amendments are first passed by the legislature. Then they are placed on the ballot—and We the People have the final say on whether they are enacted. Please consider this information carefully before voting on these three proposed amendments. And please feel free to share it with others.

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For those who would like to alert others to the negative impact these proposals are likely to have on pro-life efforts, I offer the brief summary below. It takes no position on how to vote and references no political party. Please feel free to reproduce it for mailings, email distribution, hand-outs, publication on social media platforms, or in Church bulletins. (You may include my name and/or contact information for attribution, or not include it, as you see fit.)  

N.Y. State Constitutional Amendments Endanger the Unborn

Three proposed state constitutional amendments on the ballot in New York this November threaten the integrity of our elections and bi-partisanship in government—both of grave concern to us as pro-lifers.

Ballot Proposition 1 would undermine the Independent Redistricting Commission adopted by voters just seven years ago to end partisan redrawing of state and Congressional legislative districts. This would empower the majority party to control redistricting to its partisan advantage.

We have already seen what one-party government has meant for the unborn in New York: enactment of a radical pro-abortion law that goes even beyond the extremes of Roe v. Wade. And of course, there is the looming threat of legislation targeting pro-life pregnancy support services for extinction if they do not refer for abortions.

Ballot Proposition 3 would allow voter registration on Election Day. This allows no adequate time for verifying the eligibility of new registrants before they vote—an open invitation to fraud.

Ballot Proposition 4 would establish universal access to absentee ballots. In 2005, a bipartisan commission chaired by former President Jimmy Carter and former White House Chief of Staff James Baker warned that “Absentee ballots remain the largest source for potential voter fraud.” They recommended extensive safeguards—none of which are included in this proposed amendment.

This is what is at stake for the pro-life cause if Ballot Proposals One, Three, and Four are approved by New York voters on Election Day.

CONTACT: Rick Hinshaw, rick.hinshaw@aol.com

Published by Rick Hinshaw

I have spent the last three decades in primarily Catholic communications work: as a reporter, news editor, columnist, and for eight years editor of The Long Island Catholic; several years as co-host and co-producer of The Catholic Forum program on the diocesan Telecare channel; two stints as Director of Communications for the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights; and a year as Associate Director for Communications at the New York State Catholic Conference. I also served for three years as Public Information Officer for the late Nassau County District Attorney Denis Dillon, a staunchly Catholic and active pro-life leader. Over that more than 30-year career, I have gained an ever deeper understanding of and appreciation for the moral and social teachings of our Church. In my various roles I have lent my voice to articulating those teachings and their applicability to the critical issues of our time. That is what I intend to do with this blog. Moreover, at a time when our political and social disagreements seem to have degenerated into constant vitriol, vilification, verbal abuse and intolerance of those who hold differing opinions, I hope that this blog can contribute, in some small way, to a restoration of respectful debate and discussion, where we can defend our beliefs forcefully without demonizing any who disagree with us. As a Catholic commentator, that is what I have always striven to do--remembering that even as we are called to stand firmly in defense of our Church, her teachings, and our right to be heard in the public square, we are also called always to be the face of Christ to the world--most especially to those with whom we disagree.

4 thoughts on “A NY Threat to Voting Integrity

    1. Thanks, Marlene, so do I! And as voting is not just a right but also a serious responsibility, I am always uncomfortable with those who can easily make it to the polls but who just can’t be bothered doing so. How likely are they to make the effort to cast a responsible, informed vote, if they won’t even make the effort to get to the polls–especially now, with early voting and polls in NY open on Election Day from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.?

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  1. This info should be in all bulletins in ALL Catholic churches in NY. It’s so important to know how these props affect our Faith beliefs. There’s a Scripture in the Old Testament, “For lack of knowledge my people perish.” I believe this is so true in the circumstances we are now living in.

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    1. Thank you, Charlene. It is apparent that “lack of knowledge” is exactly what the promoters of these propositions are counting on.

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