Assemblywoman Mary Beth Walsh (R,C-Ballston) represented Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay (R,C-Pulaski) at a press conference in Albany today with former Congressman Lee Zeldin. There, she called out the ill-advised and controversial change to election law that will move local elections to even-numbered years alongside federal elections should Gov. Hochul sign the proposal into law.
“Conflating county and town elections with state or national elections during even-numbered years will undoubtedly diminish local influence and cast a shadow over crucial community matters, essentially changing the culture of individual localities,” Walsh said.
“It’s our civic responsibility to be informed on local issues, not make decisions for our towns and villages based on national politics. Nationalizing elections and stripping away local power disregards the people and sets aside the democratic principles that are integral to the fabric of our state.”
“There will continue to be off-year elections, such as for district attorneys and judges, so money will continue to be spent. As for voter engagement, top-of-ticket races will overwhelm local races. Local politicians’ nuances will be ignored in favor of the bigger, media-fueled elections.”
“National issues are not the same as the issues we face at the state level. To assume otherwise neglects the importance of local perspectives. I reject this idea and call on Gov. Hochul to veto this bill to protect local voices,” Walsh concluded.