New York’s Governor Supports Fusion Voting But A Commission He Helped Create May End The Practice

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ALBANY, NY (WSKG) – Governor Andrew Cuomo says he’s a supporter of fusion voting, or allowing candidates to run on multiple party lines, even though a commission appointed by the governor and legislature appears headed toward ending the practice.

Cuomo says he backs fusion voting, and has accepted multiple party lines every time he’s run for office.

“So if I didn’t support it I couldn’t do it,” Cuomo said.

A commission appointed by Cuomo and the legislature to design a public campaign finance system is looking at limits to cross party endorsements. The governor’s appointee Jay Jacobs, who is also the head of the state Democratic Party and defacto chair of the commission, opposes fusion voting. Both Cuomo and Jacobs have said that too many party lines might make a public finance system too expensive, though advocates say the public money would follow the candidate, not the individual party lines, and so would not cost any extra money.

Cuomo says a public campaign finance system will be a very “positive” move, but it needs to mesh with fusion voting.

“It is up to the commission to design an entire system, and these things have to work together,” said Cuomo.

Cuomo stopped short of saying he would act to change any of the commission’s recommendations if he disagrees with them.

The commission issues its report the day before Thanksgiving. If the legislature does not act by late December, the new rules have the force of law.