In an effort to end voter coercion and intimidation practices, Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (35th District –D/WF) announced passage of legislation in the Senate (S2554-B) making voter suppression punishable as a misdemeanor. If signed into law, the legislation will amend New York State election laws to address issues pertaining to voter coercion and intimidation that are not currently covered.
Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins introduced the bill in the State Senate following numerous reports of attempted voter suppression that have been documented during recent elections across the State of New York. The suppressive actions reported on and recounted in a series of hearings, included the destruction of voting machines, obstructing the entryways to select polling sites in heavily populated minority areas, and challenges to thousands of voters regarding their voter registration information.
"We must empower all New Yorkers equally," said Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins. "Each citizen has the right to freely and fairly cast their vote without being intimidated, harassed or knowingly given false information. This legislation will help provide individuals, particularly in communities with a large minority population, to exercise their right to vote without the scare tactics used in the past."
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HV Press - (June 23, 2010)