By Dan Murphy
More than half a million New Yorkers voters who were enrolled in the SAM Party, Green Party, Libertarian Party or Independence Party, recently received a yellow post card in the mail explaining that their political party no longer exists. Eight political parties were cut down to four with the stroke of a pen, disenfranchising 531,000 New Yorkers of their right to choose an alternative party to the D’s and R’s.
The SAM Party of NY was one of those four parties but refuses to go away and is pushing back on this decision to limit political discourse in the Empire State. “We will keep building SAM, locally, regionally and across the state to serve and solve the problems everyday New Yorkers face. The incumbent power brokers cannot keep us down,” said SAM-NY Chair Michael Volpe.
The party cancellations came at the behest of Governor Andrew Cuomo, who led the effort to eliminate all minor political parties by increasing the number of votes they must receive in gubernatorial and presidential elections. By raising the threshold of votes required to 130,000, and by forcing all minor parties to run a candidate for President, four of New York’s political parties were eliminated after the 2020 Presidential election.
The four remaining parties are Democrat, Republican, Conservative and Working Families Party. Both the Conservative Party and WFP endorsed the republican (Trump) and democratic (Biden) candidates for President. That is how they met the threshold, by acting as wholly run subsidiaries of the two major parties.
What if a small political party in New York did not want to run a candidate for President? What if that same party wanted to focus on local races and was not ready, or interested, in running a candidate for President?
The answer is you are out of luck, which was the message sent out by County Boards of Elections to former members of the Libertarian Party, Independence Party, Green Party, and the SAM Party.
The SAM Party of NY isn’t giving up and has commenced with a social media ad campaign aimed at informing the public and calling on all New Yorkers, regardless of political affiliation, to stand up for the important right of smaller political parties to participate in our democracy.
“SAM is successfully building a national coalition of independent voters who put problem solving over ideology. We have clearly created an electoral threat to the power brokers in Albany, and we can’t let up. Now is the time for independent New Yorkers to push back on the Governor and the Legislature and make your voices heard,” said SAM National Executive Chairman David Jolly.
If you are one of the 531,000 New York voters that no longer has a political party, or if you believe in the right for many political voices to be heard, then join us in telling Governor Cuomo and your Senator or Assembly member that we want our political parties back!
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