LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Read and consider propositions before voting

Letter to the Editor

After carefully reading the laws and legislative intent behind the propositions that will be on the General Election Ballot this fall, I have some thoughts to share. Let me first state that I come from a position of keeping control on the spending by the State of New York and a personal belief in keeping the government as small as possible. 

Proposition #1, to amend the State Constitution related to how (voting) district lines are determined, is grossly misleading. Two dangerous provisions are included, namely one to include non-citizens when calculating the total state population and another to create a partisan redistricting commission by removing the requirement that the commission have equal representation for the two major parties in the state. I believe that citizenship should be a requirement for voting and for counting persons for making representation decisions. And, regardless of which party holds power in Albany, I cannot support one-party autocratic rule. Gerrymandering of election districts is bad enough today, and I believe it will be worse when one party can control the process without partisan debate. While some provisions are desirable, my opinion is to vote NO. 

Proposition #2 will add the right of each person to clean air and water and healthful environment to the Bill of Rights in the State Constitution. While on its face, this is commendable, the term “healthful environment” is ambiguous at best, and creates a loophole big enough to justify trillion dollar programs, or to create another huge bureaucracy. What is really meant by “healthful environment?” We already have the DEC and a huge Public Social Services administration, and we don’t need more. In my opinion, this is also NO. 

Proposition #3 and #4, will amend the State Constitution so that the legislature can enact laws allowing a person to register to vote less than 10 days prior to any election and that there shall be a “no excuse” absentee ballot available to all voters. The legislature has attempted to enfranchise voters without consideration for the administrative nightmare it creates for local governments and the running of fair, accurate elections without the hint of fraud. These proposals can set the stage for registration on the same day as voting by mail. When researching on vote by mail and Election Day registration in other states, results show that both do very little for increasing voter turnout and make it much easier to fraudulently obtain ballots and vote. As was experienced in North Carolina, harvesting ballots is a very real problem, so why make it easier for fraud? According to the County Board of Elections, proposition #4 may save taxpayers some money when more people vote by mail and the board can close some poll sites. Overall, I still say NO to propositions #3 and #4. 

Proposition #5, an amendment to the State Constitution, affects residents in New York City and appears to adjust the amount of a claim to be heard in Civil Court. On the surface it appears to adjust amounts for inflation. Since it is a New York City issue, I will refrain from making a choice either for or against.  

In closing, please take time to review these propositions and flip your ballot to vote.

Marsha R. Devine

Penn Yan

Marsha Devine is running as the Republican candidate for Yates County Treasurer.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Letter writers are responsible for making sure the information they submit is accurate and factual.