SAM TO PURSUE CHALLENGE TO BALLOT ACCESS LAW REDUCING COMPETITION AND CHOICES AVAILABLE TO VOTERS IN NEW YORK

Press Release: September 8, 2020

SAM TO PURSUE CHALLENGE TO BALLOT ACCESS LAW REDUCING COMPETITION AND CHOICES AVAILABLE TO VOTERS IN NEW YORK

In response to an August 31 ruling by U.S. District Court Judge John Koeltl denying a preliminary motion by the SAM Party of NY to enjoin enforcement of a new law that will reduce political competition in New York, SAM NY Chairman Michael Volpe issued the following statement: “While we respect the judge’s decision on this procedural matter, this case has yet to be reviewed on its merits and we believe both the law and constitution remain on our side. The Governor and the Legislature acted improperly to reduce competition in NY politics by changing the rules in the middle of process and we are committed to the fight against it.”

“The fact remains the SAM Party of New York met the threshold required to achieve four years of party status when the Gubernatorial ticket of Democrat Stephanie Miner and Republican Michael Volpe received more than 50,000 in the 2018 election, earning for SAM significant legal and campaign finance advantages. In response to our success, politicians in Albany decided to kneecap SAM’s status and change the law. SAM will proceed with its legal challenge through an appeal of the Preliminary Injunction denial and will also begin preparations for a full trial of the case on its merits,” said Volpe.

Background:  In 2018,  Democrat Stephanie Miner and Republican Michael Volpe ran for Governor and Lieutenant Governor as standard bearers for SAM (the Serve America Movement) on a platform presenting real change for New Yorkers; trumpeting problem solving of day to day issues grounded in fact based solutions and demanding transparency, accountability, election reform and fiscal stability for the future.  When the non-partisan Miner-Volpe ticket received more than 50,000 votes in the 2018 election, the SAM Party of New York (“SAM”) became an official political party under New York with the significant legal and campaign finance advantages that are accorded to official parties under New York law.  In 2019, over 100 candidates nominated by SAM won their elections.  On Election Day 2020, 38 SAM nominated candidates will be on the ballot.

Notwithstanding its success in 2018 and 2019, SAM has become collateral damage in a war between the Governor and the Working Families Party (WFP”). Because of his displeasure with the challenge to his 2018 re-election effort presented by one-time Working Families Party candidate Cynthia Nixon, the  Governor set out to reduce the number of minor parties in New York and, on April 3, 2020, signed a law he introduced that, among other things, would strip every minor party in the State of its official party status unless it nominated a candidate for President by September 4, 2020, runs that candidate in the 2020 Presidential election and receives more than the greater of 2% or 130,000 votes for that candidate.

Nominating a Presidential candidate remains inconsistent with the current mission of SAM NY to mobilize state and local candidates in the Empire State, and SAM NY therefore let the September 4 deadline for nominating a Presidential candidate pass without taking action. Under the law subject to our current litigation, SAM will therefore not have met the new requirements for continued party status as of Election Day 2020.  SAM will now prepare for trial on its challenge to the constitutionality of the new requirements as they apply to SAM and, in addition, will appeal the District Court’s denial of its request for immediate, preliminary relief.

For more information on SAM-NY, visit joinsamny.org

Contact: Dan Murphy, SAM-NY Communications 914-714-4370, dmurphy@joinsamny.org.