Resolution Calling for Electoral Changes in Midst of COVID-19 Pandemic


WHEREAS, there is a global pandemic of COVID-19 – a novel coronavirus which already has approximately 5,500 cases of infection in New York and has claimed the lives of at least twenty-two New Yorkers; and

WHEREAS, the newest guidelines from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) alone suggest that no more than 50 people be in the same area at one time to stop the spread of COVID-19 and to not take this action would result in placing not only the voters of our great state in harm’s way but also the dedicated election staff and poll site workers; many of whom are over 70 years old – placing them in the highest risk bracket; and

WHEREAS, COVID-19 can remain alive on casual items like touch screens, table surfaces and pens; and

WHEREAS, to curb the rate of infection, every other layer of government is trying to limit access, travel, crowds, etc. and, thus, it would defy logic to ask people to come out and vote under these circumstances; and

WHEREAS, New York State has always celebrated the fact that its elections are fair, open, safe, and secure and, at this present time, all four of those core principles are now threatened by COVID-19; and

WHEREAS, several local elections in New York State have already either been postponed or canceled; and

WHEREAS, the delegate selection rules set forth by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) do not allow for a presidential primary to occur after the second Tuesday in June in the calendar year of the national convention; and

WHEREAS, any deviation from the DNC’s delegate selection rules could result in a state delegation allocation being cut in as much as one-half; and

WHEREAS, it would be hypocritical for any political party and/or government to require in-person voting during a time when social distancing is imperative; and

WHEREAS, the New York State Young Democrats urge everyone to follow the CDC recommendations on preventing the spread of COVID-19;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the New York State Young Democrats call on Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature to merge all elections between now and June 23rd, including all that have been postponed, to be on June 23rd and to institute no-excuse absentee voting for those elections; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the New York State Young Democrats call on the Democratic National Committee and its Rules and Bylaws Committee to change its previously established delegate allocation rules to require all presidential primaries to occur by July 1, 2020 which would allow New York State to deviate from previously established rules without a cut to New York’s delegate allocation; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the New York State Young Democrats call on the New York State Board of Elections, Governor Cuomo, and the New York State Legislature to allow for no-excuse absentee voting while New York is in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic – especially if the DNC fails to act; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the New York State Young Democrats commend Sens. Ron Wyden and Amy Klobuchar for their bill to institute an emergency national vote-by-mail bill, the Natural Disaster and Emergency Ballot Act of 2020, as a way to nationally curb the spread of COVID-19 and call for its swift passage and enactment – especially if New York fails to act; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the New York State Young Democrats call on Governor Cuomo to work with the New York State Board of Elections and county boards of elections to establish a plan of action so that all postponed special and local elections will be conducted as seamlessly as possible; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the New York State Young Democrats commend the Governor, the legislature, local elected officials, first responders, public health workers, and all others involved in the Coronavirus response for their work to keep New Yorkers safe and to contain the outbreak.