Poll: “Overwhelming” Number of New Yorkers Want State Emails Saved

March 23, 2015

Today, a Siena College poll of New York State found that most New Yorkers are aware of Governor Cuomo’s email policy, and Siena’s press release further notes that “by an overwhelming margin, 80-16 percent, voters say state emails should be retained significantly longer than 90 days, including more than three-quarters of voters from every region, party, gender, race, religion, age.” (Emphasis added)

New York State’s email deletion policy is out of step with best practices in the Federal government, in other states like North Carolina and Massachusetts, with good government advocates, and even with the New York State Archives’s own recommendations from 2010, which stated “Purging all emails after a defined time period is not an acceptable retention and disposition strategy.” Today, the New York Times reported on the poll, saying:

In Albany, the email policy has drawn loud criticism in recent weeks from government watchdog groups as well as some lawmakers, who have proposed legislation to stop the email purges. The policy has also reinforced Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s reputation for seeking to tightly control information, a defining trait of his administration.

In addition, the Times noted that good government groups were skeptical of Governor Cuomo’s insistence on subjecting the State Legislature to FOIL as a condition to his retention of emails.