Tonawanda News

Local News

April 17, 2013

Cuomo touts election reform

Tonawanda News — Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday announced the first of several proposals designed to reduce corruption in state elections.

The proposals include creating an independent enforcement unit at the state Board of Elections to investigate election law violations and opening primaries to additional candidates by eliminating party bosses’ required approval and changing party enrollment deadlines to “expand voter choice and help reduce corruption,” according to a statement issued Tuesday.

“The reforms we are proposing today will help prevent corruption and strengthen our democracy by ensuring that candidates need not bankroll their way on to other parties’ ballots and giving voters the ability to change their party registration and vote in a primary in the same year,” Cuomo said.

The creation of the enforcement unit, if adopted, would include several features, Cuomo’s office said in the release:

• An election enforcement head would be selected by the governor and require Senate confirmation. The official would have sole authority over personnel decisions within the unit and would be required to hire based on merit rather than partisanship, according to Cuomo.

• The body would be granted subpoena authority to investigate and prosecute both civil and criminal cases involving violations of the election laws. Currently, such matters must be passed to the district attorney.

• The Board of Elections would not have the authority to direct the head of the new agency to cease an investigation, but could vote to direct him or her to begin such an investigation. Once the investigation has been completed and the counsel’s findings presented to the board, members could vote by majority rule not to bring a civil or criminal proceeding if the evidence demonstrated that a violation did not occur. However, if the board failed to take a vote within 90 days, or was deadlocked, the agency’s head could move ahead with prosecution.

Text Only
Local News
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Facebook
Front page
NDN Video
Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands