Gubernatorial candidate Astorino makes stop in Utica, talks revamping voting procedures


UTICA — In a Tuesday stop at Union Station — home to the Oneida County Board of Elections — Republican candidate for governor and former two-term Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino weighed in on a new law that eliminates the signature requirement for absentee ballot applications which could potentially make it easier for fraud.

“We need to make sure we reduce the risk of voting fraud,” he said.

Astorino also touted a plan that, if elected governor, he would like to see instituted. He noted that he would want to see voters obtain a photo ID prior to voting; and, that if they didn’t have one, they could obtain an ID free of charge.

In other measures, he would seek to restore the signature requirement for absentee ballot applications and strengthen chain of custody protocols for mail-in ballots. 

This would prevent illegal ballot harvesting activities, he said.

In addition, Astorino said he was in favor of preventing non-citizens from voting in any election, including municipal elections, and purging inactive voters from the rolls as those people might be dead or have moved out of state.

These things, he said, ought to be scrutinized.

“These are common sense measures that would go a long way towards increasing confidence in our elections. I’m fine with many of the new measures and making it even easier to vote, but again, ensuring election integrity is every bit as important,” said Astorino

Pointing to the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections that resulted in politicians on opposing sides of the political aisle crying foul, Astorino said that the end game of cleaning up voting procedures would hopefully result in fairness for all.

“You want losers and winners to say it was a fair game,” he said.


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