Cuomo Calls For Action Against Election Meddling

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is calling on the state Board of Elections to issue the strongest possible regulations of the state’s new online political ad transparency laws to ensure aggressive enforcement following revelations of fake accounts on Facebook linked to a Russian campaign to influence the midterm elections.

In April, Cuomo the New York State Democracy Protection Act to ensure transparency in all political advertising and to protect New York elections from foreign influence. The state Board of Elections is scheduled to promulgate new regulations on August 9 defining online platforms and creating a database of all political advertisements purchased by a person or group for publication on the platform.

“Our election system is the backbone of our democracy, and social media sites have a responsibility to do everything they can to combat foreign attempts to interfere in our elections,” Cuomo said. “While the Trump administration turns a blind eye to meddling in our elections, New York is leading the way to protect our democracy. I call on the state Board of Elections officials to advance the strongest regulations possible to fully enforce our online transparency laws and ensure that social media sites that are used to spread disinformation are held accountable.”

The 2019 state budget expanded New York state’s definition of political communication to include paid internet and digital advertisements; required the state Board of Elections to maintain a file of all political advertisements purchased by a person or group for publication on the platform; and required online platforms confirm that foreign individuals and entities are not purchasing political advertisements in order to influence the New York electorate. Any individual or organization that fails to comply with the requirements of the law shall be subject to a civil penalty of up to $1,000 for each violation.