New York Election DOES NOT STATE that the witness to a petitions must be a member of a political party

*17. Section 132 (2) of New York Election law provides the following:*

*2. There shall be appended at the bottom of each sheet a
signed* statement of a witness who is a duly qualified voter of the
state and an enrolled voter of the same political party as the
voters qualified to sign the petition, and who is also a
resident of the political subdivision in which the office or
position is to be voted for. However, in the case of a petition for
election to the party position of member of the county committee,
residence in the same county shall be sufficient. Such a
statement shall be accepted for all purposes as the equivalent of an
affidavit, and if it contains a material false statement,
shall subject the person signing it to the same penalties as if he or
she had been duly sworn. The form of such statement shall be
substantially as follows:
                             STATEMENT OF WITNESS
    I,..................... (name of witness) state: I am a duly
qualified voter of the State of New York and am an enrolled
voter of the....................... party. I now reside
  (residence address).

*18. It is apparently the interpretation of the Board of Elections in the
City of New York that the above provision implies that the party of the
subscribing witness must be the same as the party of the signer of the
petition. However, the above provision does not actually say that. It
merely suggests but does not require that the subscribing witness disclose
the name of any political party he belongs to, which may be Democrat,
Republican, Socialist, Communist, Blank or any other. Nowhere in this
provision or anywhere else in New York Law is there a requirement that the
mere witness to the signing of a petition be a member of any particular
political party. If there were such a provision it would be
constitutionally invalid as depriving the right of Freedom of Association
and depriving the general membership of the right to chose the candidates
they want to run for election. *