New York lawmakers are considering whether to switch local elections for offices outside New York City to even-numbered years. The reasoning: Doing so would boost turnout in elections in presidential and congressional election cycles, typically when more people vote. 

But the top Republican leader in New York, state party Chairman Nick Langworthy, is mounting an effort against the measure. 

In a statement on Thursday, Langworthy called the measure a power grab by Democrats. 

"They will stop at nothing to manipulate the system to rig themselves into total and permanent power. Kathy Hochul said it herself that her mission is to ‘wipe out the Republican Party in New York’ and this outrageous legislation is a consolation prize after their illegal gerrymander was resoundingly defeated by the courts. New Yorkers of all political stripes who care about a strong democracy and accountability in government should be vociferously opposed to this cynical and unconstitutional scheme," Langworthy said. "We are urging all New Yorkers to immediately call their legislators and Governor Hochul to make their voices heard, and we are preparing once again to fight this with every tool at our disposal.”

His concern was also echoed by Conservative Party Chairman Gerald Kassar. 

"Voter turnout is shaped by issues, for example, people in villages, towns and other election districts, know that their local mayor or town council member has little influence or ability to curb inflation, but can help with a street light on a corner that has far too many accidents," a memorandum of opposition released by the party states. "If a corner needs a street light, there is always a large turnout."

At issue is turnout. Democratic candidates in New York typically do well during high turnout elections, including presidential election years and in congressional wave years like 2018. Republicans have been able to win local elections in odd-numbered years when turnout is generally lower, giving them a bench of candidates who could potentially run statewide or for Congress one day. 

On Twitter, bill sponsor state Sen. James Skoufis said the switch would save taxpayers money, and called Langworthy's criticism of the measure overblown. 

"Nick Langworthy's rumor-driven hysteria over streamlining and consolidating government - something the Republican Party purportedly endorses - resembles that of a lunatic," he said.