Harckham Calls for Early Voting and Automatic Voter Registration


With an upcoming June 1 voter registration deadline looming, Pete Harckham, Democratic candidate for the 40th New York State Senate District, is calling for early voting and automatic voter registration in New York State. Harckham objects to a bill sponsored by State Senator Terrence Murphy (R- Yorktown) which would require a government ID card to be presented when casting a ballot.

“Voter ID is a solution in search of a problem,” Harckham says. “Voter impersonation is vanishingly rare and every study that has examined the issue has borne this out. The only thing voter ID laws accomplish are to disenfranchise poor and historically oppressed communities. Sen. Murphy’s S298 bill will not deter fraud. It can lead to the kind voter suppression we left behind in the Jim Crow era. This is clearly not in keeping with Hudson Valley values.”

“We need to enable voters, rather than create barriers to voting access,” continued Harckham. “There is currently no early voting or automatic voter registration in New York State because of obstructionist efforts in the Republican-controlled State Senate.  We need progressive policies that would strengthen the state’s electoral system and make it easier for voters to participate in elections.”  According to Harckham, calls for voter ID regulations can be traced back to Donald Trump’s claims of voter fraud.  Once the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity found no evidence to support this claim, Trump shut the commission down.  In other states, photo ID voting laws have been challenged or struck down in court and even Republican Rep. John Faso, whose congressional district 19 overlaps with part of NY SD 40, has said he has “not seen any evidence that New York needs a voter identification law.”

Friday June 1 is the deadline for new voters to register for the June 26 federal primary.  Harckham, who actively supported voting rights while serving as Westchester County Legislature Majority Leader, wants to remind residents of Dutchess County and first-time voters elsewhere across NY State to register.  Full details are available from the New York State Board of Elections at https://www.elections.ny.gov/.  “Registering to vote is important for all citizens as we approach the mid-term elections,” Harckham notes.  “As JFK said, ‘One person can make a difference and everyone should try.’”

Working Families Party Announces Support for Peter Harckham for State Senate

Westchester-Putnam Working Families Party Announces Support for Peter Harckham for State Senate

Today, the Westchester-Putnam chapter of the Working Families Party announced that they are supporting Peter Harckham in his campaign for State Senate in the 40th Senate District.

“We are proud to support Peter Harckham for State Senate. We have a long history of working with Peter on issues of great concern to the WFP. Throughout that time, Pete has consistently and tirelessly stood up for the interests of working families.” said Pat Welsh, WFP Westchester-Putnam Chair.

“I am honored once again to have the support of the Westchester-Putnam Chapter of the Working Families Party. Over the years we have fought together to end housing discrimination, improve access to safe affordable childcare and to create economic opportunity for all residents of the Hudson Valley. I look forward to continuing this valued partnership as there is much more work to be done.” said State Senate Candidate Pete Harckham.

New York State Senate District 40 includes parts of Northern Westchester (Briarcliff Manor, Buchanan, Cortlandt, Croton-on-Hudson, Lewisboro, Mount Kisco, Mount Pleasant, New Castle, North Salem, Peekskill, Pleasantville, Pound Ridge, Sleepy Hollow, Somers, Yorktown) Putnam (Brewster, Carmel, Patterson, Southeast) and Dutchess (Beekman, Pawling) counties.

District residents interested in Pete Harckham’s NY State Senate District 40 campaign can visit PeteForNY.com on the web or www.facebook.com/PeteforNY and @PeteforNY on Twitter and Instagram to learn more, volunteer or  contribute.

Patch: Harckham Enters Race for State Senate

Former Westchester County Legislature Majority Leader Pete Harckham announced his campaign for the 40th New York State Senate District Monday from the plaza in front of Mount Kisco Village Hall.

He is challenging incumbent Terrence Murphy of Yorktown.

The 40th has been most recently represented by conservative Republicans. Greg Ball held the seat before Murphy, an early supporter of President Donald Trump who was on stage as at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland when Trump was officially nominated as the party’s candidate for president…

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Pete Harckham Announces Bid for NY State Senate District 40 at Kickoff

Former Westchester County Legislature Majority Leader Pete Harckham today announced his campaign for the 40th New York State Senate District at a Campaign Kickoff from the plaza in front of Mount Kisco Village Hall. Harckham was joined by members of his family, local officials, community leaders, emergency first responders and members of the public.

“Today I am proud to announce that I am a candidate for NY State Senate in the 40th District,” Harckham told the crowd. “We are living in turbulent times. President Trump and his extreme conservative allies have declared war on New York State and its property taxpayers by eliminating much of the deduction for state and local property taxes, while health care costs for New Yorkers will rise as ideologues chip away the Affordable Care Act, climate change deniers assault the environment and long fought-for protections for women, unions, the disabled and communities of color are under assault.”

“We need a progressive senator who will fight for Hudson Valley values, not Donald Trump’s values,” Harckham said. “As state senator, I will fight full time to protect NY’s taxpayers, see that every New Yorker has access to high quality healthcare, including opioid treatment, guard our fragile drinking water supply, ensure that every child in the Hudson Valley receives a quality education and force area electric utilities to finally provide a storm resilient power supply.” Harckham added he would also dedicate himself to protecting area families and schools by making sure that the SAFE Act is not repealed.

Harckham also said he will “focus like a laser” on infrastructure and downtown Main Streets where storefronts lie vacant and family businesses are decimated by big box chains and online retailers. He will also partner with the communities around Indian Point to build a strong and sustainable economic foundation for those towns and villages impacted by the plant’s closure.

Harckham emphasized he will fight to open the log-jam of progressive legislation that has been bottled up in the Republican-led State Senate, noting that it is “unconscionable” that the Child Victims Act has languished. In addition, Harckham vowed to focus on election reform, renewable energy, as well as improved healthcare and other essential policies, calling for a unified state government, “not one that works to undermine progress and opportunity.”

“We have a unique opportunity to win the NY State Senate by defeating Terrence Murphy, whose extreme positions on election reform, school safety, victim’s rights and women’s healthcare are out of touch with the values of the majority of the voters in this district,” said Harckham.

Harckham emphasized that his experience and proven record of accomplishments as a Westchester County Legislator for four terms (two terms as Democratic Majority Leader) and three years as a member of the Cuomo Administration make him especially qualified to serve in the New York State Senate.

As a fiscally responsible Westchester county legislator, Harckham had a record of holding the line on taxes and streamlining government. His legislative accomplishments included directing tens of millions of dollars in grants to watershed communities to assist with wastewater and phosphorus reduction mandates. He also passed legislation granting property tax breaks to volunteer first responders and veterans, building hundreds of units of affordable housing and helping area families stave off foreclosure and eviction from rentals, protecting the air from unnecessary vehicle idling, banning fracking, waste from sewage treatment plants, expanding plastics recycling, creating a countywide program for home energy audits and advancing renewable clean energy policies.