Facts Matter - 27 East

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Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1686041

Facts Matter

In these divisive times, it sometimes feels difficult to know what to trust. That’s why I appreciate the hard work of those at this newspaper and countless others around the country to put facts ahead of agendas.

I have been following our congressman, Lee Zeldin, since his reelection in 2016 and have reached out to him many times, urging him to communicate honestly and openly with our community. The most recent email I received from him, which went out to tens of thousands of constituents, made statements that were demonstrably untrue, and I wanted to set the record straight for the citizens of Sag Harbor.

Zeldin stated in the email that “NY Democrats created a way for illegal immigrants to register to vote.” I know that this statement raises concerns for members of our community, and Zeldin seems to be capitalizing on that concern.

I want to point out that if you read the bill he’s referring to, on Automatic Voter Registration, the language is clear. Bill S6457, authored by New York State Senator Michael Gianaris, makes it easier for citizens to vote by automatically registering citizens when they get a driver’s license. Undocumented immigrants who get driver’s licenses will not be registered to vote.

Here’s the exact language, from Point number 5 of the bill: “No agency shall transmit to the State Board of Elections any application for registration for a person that is, by virtue of data collected by the agency … ineligible to register to vote by reason of age or not being a citizen of the United States.”

Zeldin is up for reelection in November, and he has some local candidates hoping to take his seat. I’m not trying to tell people how to vote, but I want to make sure people are voting for actual policies, and not being manipulated. Facts do, in fact, matter.

If you got that email, and especially if it upset you, please go and read the bill at www.nysenate.gov, bill S6457.

Emily Weitz

Sag Harbor

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