On Thursday, November 2, Westchester Legislator of the 17th district, José Alvarado, posted a photo on his Facebook page allegedly showing himself committing a misdemeanor offense.
The social media post
Around 9am on Thursday, the Facebook account for José Alvarado posted the below collage of two photographs. The first clearly shows Alvarado marking his ballot in a privacy booth, and the second photo shows him feeding a ballot into a tabulation machine.
Per New York state law, this could be a misdemeanor offense. Title 17 Section 130 sub-section 10 states that it is a crime for anyone that, “shows his ballot after it is prepared for voting, to any person so as to reveal the contents, or solicits a voter to show the same.” And that is apparently what Alvarado is doing in the first photograph. The photographer of this evidence is unknown at this time.
Some have challenged this law claiming free speech protections. However, in 2017, U.S. Southern District Court Judge Kevin Castel ruled that the New York law prohibiting “ballot selfies” did not violate the first amendment.
Alvarado himself, or at least the manager of his social media account, must have also realized this infraction. About an hour or so after its posting to Facebook, the first incriminating photo was removed.
The GOP responds
Alvarado faces a Republican challenger in this 2023 election, José Diaz. Supported by the Yonkers GOP, a statement was sent exclusively to The Yonkers Ledger on this matter. In it, party Chair Bob Moffit affirms what Alvarado did was illegal. He furthermore calls on Westchester District Attorney Mimi Rocah to charge County Legislator José Alvarado for this crime.
We reached out to Majority Leader Alvarado for his comment. To date, our request remains unanswered. We will update this story as it develops.
Whether intentional or not, the offending photograph was also uploaded to Alvarado’s Instagram account at 4:07pm
Another update: Around three hours later, Alvarado has now removed the image from Instagram as well.