Disenfranchised Voters Deserve Better Than a Brush-Off | City & State NY


My latest OpEd in City and State New York.

My jaw dropped when I read this week about some 300 upstate voters inadvertently disenfranchised from the federal primary due to a mapping error.

Unbelievable! For six weeks, no one had a clue or uttered a word about this voting-rights violation. That is, until Republican congressional candidate Matt Doheny entertained local media by reciting the names of all 193 cities and towns in NY-21—except one, the town of Ballston. It was then that someone finally noticed.

You see, most of the town of Ballston, except the village of Ballston Spa, is in NY-20. Ballston Spa was redrawn into NY-21 in this year’s decennial redistricting.

Saratoga election commissioner Roger Schiera dismissed the omission by faulting the federal court’s maps for not having the same level of detail as maps provided by the state’s Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research (LATFOR) in the past.

“Whenever there is redistricting, it’s very difficult, especially when these new lines are drawn; we have to do street level details and parse these things out. You know, these houses are on one side, these are on another, the district line runs right through,” Schiera lamely told YNN.

State Board of Elections spokesman Tom Connolly disagreed. He countered that LATFOR worked with the federal special master to create digital shapefiles for the county boards to use.

On LATFOR’s website the NY-21 map clearly shows that Ballston Spa is in the congressional district. Ironically, the Saratoga County BoE is headquartered in Ballston Spa.

Read more
Former Assemblyman Michael Benjamin Writes that Disenfranchised Voters Deserve Better Than a Brush-Off | City & State.

About SquarePegDem

A former state legislator turned NY Post editorial board member, thought-leader, public affairs consultant and commentator, columnist and blogger. Michael has appeared on Al Jazeera America Tonight, NY1/Inside City Hall, FoxNews.com LIVE, YNN/Capital Tonight, The Brian Lehrer Show, The Fred Dicker Show, The Capitol Press Room, and The Daily Show. His op-eds have appeared in the NY Post, City and State, The Legislative Gazette, Bronx Times, The Troy Record, Buffalo News, and the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. To schedule speaking engagements, email MBenjamin9@optimum.net.
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