Election 1944: Dewey turns to problem of voting time (10-27-44)

The Pittsburgh Press (October 27, 1944)


Dewey turns to problem of voting time

New York City wants polls open until 1000

Albany, New York (UP) –
Governor Thomas E. Dewey turned today from campaigning to a New York State problem – voting hours in New York City – which may in itself affect his bid for the White House in the Nov. 7 election.

The New York Governor is scheduled to receive a report from Charles Breitel, his counsel, today on a proposal to keep New York City polling places open three hours longer this year to accommodate the heavy voter registration.

Under present law, voting hours are from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. EWT. Mr. Breitel met earlier this week with members of the New York Board of Elections. His report is expected to influence Governor Dewey’s decision on whether to call a special legislative session to authorize an extension.

Observers see handicap

Many political observers believe that an extension of voting hours would work to the disadvantage of the Republican presidential candidate. The belief is based on the idea that the heavier the vote in New York City, the greater margin Dewey will have to gain upstate in order to win the state’s 47 electoral votes.

Governor Dewey apparently doesn’t subscribe to that theory. He told a press conference in St. Louis last week that he was pleased with the heavy New York City registration.

Twice before in recent years, 1940 and 1942, the New York City polls were kept open beyond 7:00 p.m. President Roosevelt carried the state against the late Wendell L. Willkie in 1940. Governor Dewey, in winning the governorship, led the Republican Party to a state victory in 1942.

Has open date

Next Monday is an open date on Mr. Dewey’s schedule on which he could be on hand for an emergency session of the state legislature to extend the voting hours.

He is scheduled to resume campaigning tomorrow with a farm speech from Syracuse, New York, heart of the state’s agricultural district and scene of the annual state fair.

KQV will broadcast the speech at 12:30 p.m. ET.