Reyes And His Missed Votes (Updated)
Republican Senate candidate Juan Reyes, a former Giuliani administration official and ex-aide to Sen. Bob Dole locked in a fierce primary against Queens Councilman Eric Ulrich, has a habit of skipping elections, including when his old boss ran for re-election in 1997.
In response, the campaign of Reyes says the missed votes are “isolated” and that it’s a sign that New York’s voting requirements for absentee ballots need to be reformed.
Board of Elections documents show the Reyes did not vote in the citywide election in 1997, when Republican Rudy Giuliani easily defeated Democrat Ruth Messinger for a second term. He did not vote in the 2002 general election, in which then-Gov. George Pataki defeated Democratic candidate Carl McCall. He also didn’t vote in the 2000 election, a presidential year.
He also missed the citywide general elections of 2011.
Reyes is competing against Ulrich, a favorite of the Senate GOP and New York Republican establishment, in order to take on Democratic Sen. Joe Addabbo in the fall (Ulrich’s support of the Republican Party in New York came in the form of a $250,000 contribution to his campaign).
Reyes previously put out a mailer accusing Ulrich of being a “puppet” of the establishment.
In a statement, Reyes’ campaign says the candidate missed votes in a “few isolated elections” where Republicans were the heavy favorites and won big (though the 2000 presidential election was something of a nail bitter).
The voting record is below.
Here is their full statement:
Juan Reyes has been voting for Republican candidates since his opponent, Eric Ulrich, was one year old.
In several of the years since, Juan has spent his Election Days — from 5:00 AM to 10:00 PM and later — working on ballot security for the Republican Party around New York City, to guarantee fair and honest elections in districts where ballot tampering was a serious concern.
Unfortunately, New York’s antiquated election laws do not provide for campaign workers and ballot security specialists to make use of Absentee Ballots because of their campaign duties, and Juan was unable to cast a vote in a few isolated elections where the Republican candidate won overwhelmingly, because he was far from his home polling place from before dawn until nearly midnight.
State Absentee Ballot law specifically requires that a voter be out of town on business or vacation, unable to go to the polls because of illness or hospitalization, or (and we reluctantly mention this because several of Mr. Ulrich’s campaign workers might take advantage of this opportunity) in jail, awaiting trial.
Juan favors modernizing state election law to make it easier for citizens to vote by mail, in order to increase turnout and voter participation, as well as amending ballot access laws to decrease the percentage of signatures needed to qualify for the ballot from 5% to 1%.
Juan Reyes believes these and other reforms are in the best interest of all New Yorkers.
Update: The Ulrich campaign weighs in.
“How can anyone who doesn’t vote run for public office? Juan Reyes didn’t vote in local elections, citywide elections, state elections — even presidential elections. What’s even more perplexing is that he didn’t even bother to vote for his former boss Rudy Giuliani in 1997. It takes a lot of chutzpah to ask people to support you when you don’t fulfill the most basic civic duty.”
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on July 24, 2012 at 2:29 pm, and is filed under Downstate NY, Republicans. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|