Judge Dianne Freestone of Saratoga County decided universal absentee voting for the sake of “perpetual health emergencies” is “Orwellian” and unconstitutional.
- In a challenge to a January 2022 absentee voting law, Saratoga County Judge Dianne Freestone decided that expanded access to absentee voting for general “health” reasons is neither protected in the Constitution nor in previous New York laws.
- The January law expanded absentee access to such a degree that ballots would lack any oversight, to which Freestone suggests that “while there is a constitutional right to vote, there is no constitutional right to an absentee ballot.”
- The unconstitutional legislation added, “In no event may a court order a ballot that has been counted to be uncounted,” disregarding the court’s constitutional power to decide challenges.
- The absentee legislation was used as a means of expanding Covid emergency health orders, the guise being that voting in person poses “threats” to health and safety.
- A 1955 law is the only prior New York legislation allowing absentee voting for the sake of health, permitting such ballots only for sicknesses or disabilities which render the individual physically incapable of appearing in person on Election Day.
TEXT OF THE DECISION:
- “The Constitution,” Freestone argued, “has generally been regarded as continuing to retain the implicit preference for ‘in person’ casting of ballots in elections.”
- Freestone continued that the “illness” described in then-New York Governor Cuomo’s legislation is “contrary to the constitutional text,” which does not include absentee voting by way of a perpetual health crisis defined by the government.
- “It is not appropriate for the Court to use its subjective judgment as to the dangers of the COVID-19 pandemic as a reason to strike down a duly enacted statute,” Freestone offered.
- One of the plaintiffs of the case, Robert Smullen, argued, “What we object to is mass mailing of paper ballots when they are not necessary,” given that Biden previously stated the Covid pandemic was over.
- Recently, Republicans gained a victory for election integrity against Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, who disregarded aspects of Michigan state election laws in new guidance she distributed to election observers.
- American Faith reported that House Republicans are implementing observers in states with close elections as a means of investigating irregular ballot counts.