Dem Candidate Encourages Wealthy Manhattan Residents to Use Address of Second Home for Voter Registration

Perry Gershon: 'If you want your vote to count, go vote where it's close' (UPDATED)

Perry Gershon (C) at an event with Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D., N.Y.) / Twitter
November 2, 2018

A New York congressional candidate and his supporters have encouraged wealthy New York City residents to register to vote where they own alternate homes outside the city, specifically in the 1st Congressional District.

Perry Gershon, who is challenging incumbent Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin (N.Y.), appeared at a lecture at Stony Brook University in early October when he made the remarks, according to audio posted on Zeldin's Facebook page.

"People who own second homes out in the Hamptons, in the North Fork, or in Bellport. Those are the large centers in this community where there are second home owners," Gershon said. "They are moving their voter registration to their second home because if they live in Manhattan, your vote doesn't matter there. It's all Democratic. The Democrat wins by 60 or 70 percent. If you want your vote to count, go vote where it's close."

In addition to the lecture at the university, Gershon attended the Greenport Maritime Festival in September, which included a tent for people who wanted to change their registration to reflect their address outside the city. The tent displayed signs that said "Vote where it counts! New Yorkers, you have the right to vote from your second home" as well as a sign offering free wine for New Yorkers who changed their voter registration information.

Zeldin's campaign slammed Gershon and his supporters for being willing to "cheat and lie more than they tell the truth."

"Down in every poll, embarrassed in every debate, and deep in debt, Park Avenue Perry (Who was caught spending a night last week during the home stretch of this campaign at his million dollar brownstone in Manhattan) and his campaign believe that their only path to victory is to cheat and lie more than they tell the truth," said Chris Boyle, Zeldin campaign communications director. "Congressman Zeldin grew up in NY-1, went to school in NY-1, and is now raising his twin girls with his great wife just blocks from where he grew up."

"Park Avenue Perry may have been able to buy the Democratic Party primary with over $1 million of his own money, but on Tuesday, he will lose for all of the right reasons. Our district, this seat, our voice, are not for sale," Boyle added.

A spokesperson for the Gershon campaign responded to the Zeldin campaign by calling him a "vote suppressor" and "serial liar."

"Lee Zeldin is both a vote suppressor and a serial liar. Without getting into the nonsense about Perry's family budget, Lee is in desperation mode after Perry was unanimously endorsed by all eight Long Island editorial boards. His shallow outrage at Perry for encouraging people to register to vote, one of the greatest rights we have in America, is not surprising," Gershon Press Secretary Alexandra Dakich said. "This is a continuation of the Zeldin campaign's grotesque efforts to suppress voters, including the mailing of the wrong deadline for absentee voting to college students. Lee knows that he needs people to stay away from the polls or he will lose this race."

Gershon is not the only New York Democratic candidate relying on help from Manhattan liberals. The Democratic congressional candidate for New York's 19th District, Antonio Delgado, has received help from dozens of New York City activists volunteering in the district and helping with get-out-the-vote efforts.

Updated 11/3/18 3:42 pm: The article was updated to include the Gershon campaign's response.