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Politics and Government

CNY State Senators get election feedback from local residents

Madison Ruffo
WRVO Public Media
State Senator John Mannon, D–Geddes, at the Committee on Elections public hearing at SUNY ESF on August 4, 2021.

Winston Churchill was quoted by a Cortland County resident at a public hearing in Syracuse on Wednesday.

“I think it was Winston Churchill that said, ‘democracy is the worst form of government, but we'll stick with it until something better comes along,’” the resident said.

Churchill actually said, “democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others.” This famous quote was referenced more than once during the public hearing hosted by the New York State Senate’s Committee on Elections.

The committee–which is co-sponsored by central New York Senators Rachel May, D–Syracuse, and John Mannion, D–Geddes–has been traveling around the state looking for input from voters on how to improve the state’s election process.

In Syracuse, a slew of voters from all political parties said the local election process is in dire need of sustained bipartisanship. As Western New York State Senator Edward Rath, who was in attendance, said–lawmakers heard their constituents loud and clear.

“If there was one resounding chorus of voices that I heard today, it was the need for bipartisanship in our elections processes in our elections, programs and our elections overall,” said Rath.

Aside from pleas for bipartisanship, voters brought up points regarding voter fraud, registration, and early voting access.

“I would recommend that the state legislature increase the minimum number of early voting sites per capita for each county,” said one resident.

This public hearing came not even a year after the contentious race for New York’s 22nd Congressional District, which resulted in the upheaval of Oneida County’s Board of Elections.

The committee was in Rochester on Thursday and will then head to Westchester.