PILF Asks New York Court of Appeals to Declare Universal Mail Voting Law Unconstitutional

The Foundation won a similar case invalidating universal vote by mail in Delaware

(Albany, NY) – July 2, 2024: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) filed an amicus curiae brief supporting Rep. Elise Stefanik, Rep. Tenney, and other New York elected officials in their lawsuit challenging a state law that allows universal vote by mail.

In 2021, a constitutional amendment referendum to allow universal vote by mail failed to pass. After the failed referendum, the New York legislature enacted a law allowing all New York voters to vote by mail.

This law directly conflicts with the New York Constitution which only allows vote by mail in certain circumstances. Section 2 of the New York Constitution limits mail voting to only people traveling, sick, or with a personal disability. Granting everyone the ability to vote by mail renders the text of the New York Constitution superfluous, redundant, and without purpose.

PILF has a history of successfully knocking down mail-voting statutes that conflict with state constitutions. In 2022, PILF brought a successful lawsuit challenging Delaware’s law that allowed universal mail voting. Similar to the New York Constitution, the Delaware Constitution provides for specific reasons a person may cast a mail ballot. The Delaware Supreme Court ruled that the expansion of voting by mail was prohibited under the Delaware Constitution.

“Expansion of mail voting was rejected by New York voters,” said PILF President, J. Christian Adams. “Now, the New York Legislature has unconstitutionally passed a law to allow every registered voter to cast a ballot in the mail. The plain text of the New York Constitution prohibits the expansion of mail voting. If New York lawmakers want to expand mail voting, they need to pass a constitutional amendment.”

The attorneys for PILF in this case are Maureen Riordan and Joseph Nixon.

The Foundation’s brief in Stefanik v. Hochul is available here.

Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) is the nation’s only public interest law firm dedicated wholly to election integrity. The Foundation exists to assist states and others to aid the cause of election integrity and fight against lawlessness in American elections. Drawing on numerous experts in the field, PILF seeks to protect the right to vote and preserve the Constitutional framework of American elections. PILF has brought lawsuits and won victories in Texas, Mississippi, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and across the United States.


For media inquiries, please reach out to Lbowman@publicinterestlegal.org

Public Interest Legal Foundation