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Long Island Republican Elections Commissioner Wants Voter ID Law

John Froschauer

New York is reviewing changes it made to early voting during the pandemic. It allowed local election boards to expand early polling centers and speed up the processing of absentee ballots before Election Day.

Nick LaLota, the Republican Elections Commissioner in Suffolk County, told a state elections committee this week that New York needs better resources to catch election fraud.

“Our processing personnel do not lend themselves to an effective comparison of voter signatures. On a busy Election Day especially, our inspectors are focused on efficiently processing voters, not scrutinizing signatures," LaLota said.

LaLota wants a voter ID law and more scrutiny to verify mail-in ballots. He said he recently told law enforcement that Florida election officials flagged someone who registered and voted in both Suffolk County and Florida in 2018.

Suffolk police also arrested a man who signed for two absentee ballots for his late mother last year. These are two cases out of the 380,000 people who voted in recent presidential elections.

He also testified at a state Senate hearing this week that it's too expensive to run early voting during a non-presidential year.

“In about five different polling places over the course of nine days, we had a single digit number of total voters. We spent a lot of money on that. And I'm not so sure that that's the best way to efficiently spend taxpayer money,” LaLota said.

LaLota said giving New Yorkers 10 extra days to go to the polls and receive absentee ballots has increased access to voting.

A native Long Islander, J.D. is WSHU's managing editor. He also hosts the climate podcast Higher Ground. J.D. reports for public radio stations across the Northeast, is a journalism educator and proud SPJ member.