Cuomo may alter candidate petition rules in response to virus outbreak

Gov. Andrew Cuomo suggested on Friday that he may use his emergency powers during the coronavirus outbreak to adjust the laws for the petitions that candidates circulate to get their names on the ballot.

“Normally you go door to door with a petition and you speak to the person who opens the door and you ask them to sign a petition,” Cuomo said during a press briefing. “This is not the best time to be sending people door to door. It’s the exact opposite of what we’re trying to do. I don’t know the specific solution but I know it’s something that we have to address.”

Candidates running this year started collecting signatures on Feb. 25 and have until April 2 to submit their petitions. Reducing the number of signatures they need or extending the deadline could only be done by executive order or legislation.

Gary Greenberg, a Greene County Democrat running for the 46th Senate District seat that George Amedore is vacating, has been urging the state to take one action or the other.

“The presidential debates are going to be held without an audience out of concern for the public health crisis,” he said in a statement on Thursday. “Yet New York State is requiring candidates and volunteers to intrusively knock on doors asking for signatures of registered voters. Current law makes no sense in these scary days of the coronavirus and New York State should act now to protect people not place them at risk of the virus.”

Greenberg had said earlier that a campaign volunteer collecting signatures for him had been verbally abused because she is of Chinese descent, which he said had provoked coronavirus fears and hostility.

“My good friend of nearly 20 years was moved to tears this week after having doors slammed in her face from people who didn’t know the reason for her visit at their homes,” he said. 

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Rules. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or fill out this form.
  • Categories

  • Archives