Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R,C,I-Brooklyn/Staten Island) and Assemblyman Ron Castorina, Jr. (R,C,I, Ref-South Shore) slammed legislation (A. 6730) that would make voting compulsory for individuals who are eligible to vote in New York State, and punish those who are eligible and don’t vote with a $10 fine. The legislation was introduced in an effort to improve voter turnout numbers in New York, but Malliotakis and Castorina believe this regressive policy does nothing but further the burden on the taxpayers of New York.
“The right to vote is a privilege reserved for each citizen. If a citizen does not want to exercise that privilege, it is also their right,” said Malliotakis. “Government shouldn’t be looking to financially hold its voters hostage or penalize citizens who exercise their rights and freedoms. Policies like this are what make voters apathetic and disenchanted with politics. We should be looking for more ways to ease the heavy burden of taxes, fees and fines already endured by New York’s taxpayers, not add to them.”
Castorina added, “Unfortunately, today the Assembly has continued its relentless effort to nickel and dime the taxpayers of New York with this bill. Assemblywoman Glick’s bill forcing New Yorkers to vote or else face a $10 penalty is an absolute violation of all Americans right to free speech and political expression. Not voting is as much of a constitutional right as voting, and cannot be violated for the purposes of compensating for Hillary Clinton’s disastrous and embarrassing loss in November. I encourage my colleagues to stop wasting the time and money of New York taxpayers and start focusing on legislation that brings back jobs, fuels economic growth, and makes our communities more affordable to live and raise a family.”