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Letter To The Editor: Do Our Votes Count Enough?

Assemblywoman Sandy is hosting a discussion about how the country elects its president on Jan. 12.
Assemblywoman Sandy is hosting a discussion about how the country elects its president on Jan. 12. Photo Credit: New York Assembly website

OSSINING, N.Y. -- The Ossining Daily Voice accepts signed and original letters to the editor up to 350 words. To submit a letter, e-mail ossining@dailyvoice.com.

Assemblywoman Sandy Galef represents the 95th District of the New York Assembly, which includes the Westchester municipalities of Cortlandt, Ossining and Peekskill, and the Putnam municipalities of Philipstown, Cold Spring and Kent.

To the Editor:

Many New Yorkers felt forgotten in the presidential election. And for good reason: we, like 24 other states, found that major presidential candidates had very limited campaign efforts in our state after the July conventions.

We provide donations of time and money, but we are told to call or visit other states, and 94 percent of campaign funding is spent in only 12 states. These "swing states," showing up purple on our computers and televisions, seem to be the only places that matter in our elections.

But the problem does not end when the election is concluded. The "battleground states" receive seven percent more federal grant aid than the states that consistently lean toward the same party. Our states face the same problems: mass transportation, inadequate affordable housing, aging infrastructure and support for public schools are issues in New York too.

I become concerned, as I watch maps dotted with red, blue and purple, that so much discussion goes into unemployment in "real America" and "swing states," while the topic of retaining jobs in upstate New York never comes up.

The presidential election is over, but I have heard from many of my constituents about their interest in changing from an Electoral College to the national popular vote. In order to have a community discussion on such a change, I will be sponsoring a meeting with several speakers, to discuss the various options for electing a president.

The meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 12, at the Croton Public Library.

As our nation is changing, the choices before us are to continue the Electoral College as it is or to look toward amending the Constitution and adopting the national popular vote. Please come and express your views.

Sandy Galef

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