De Blasio Could Get Back on the Ballot
July 27th, 2009
Councilmember Bill de Blasio, a candidate for public advocate who was knocked off the ballot last week because of a typo, is hoping the City Board of Elections hands him a reprieve tomorrow.
The city’s election commissioners are slated to meet at 1:30 p.m. tomorrow to vote on whether or not to reinstate de Blasio on the ballot. De Blasio was removed by a review committee at the board, because his cover sheet misstated the number of petition volumes the campaign handed into the Board of Elections. The cover sheet said the campaign had 131 petitions, while it in fact had submitted 132.
Because of another cover sheet error earlier in the petitioning process, the committee removed de Blasio from the ballot. He had collected 125,000 signatures. In order to get on the ballot for a citywide race you need 7,500.
De Blasio’s campaign now argues keeping him off the ballot would be equal to the disenfranchisement of 125,000 New Yorkers who signed his petitions to get him on the ballot. A simple typo, he says, should not limit the choice of voters.
“Our election law should be about helping legitimate candidates get on the ballot,” said de Blasio this morning outside of a City Hall subway station. “This is for the voters to decide, not bureaucracy.”
If the board keeps him off the ballot, de Blasio said the campaign would take them to court. The campaign has already started that proceeding by filing court papers Friday.
Ultimately the incident, said de Blasio and supporters, including Rep. Ed Towns, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and Councilmember Letitia James, is another example of why the state’s election law should be reformed. Currently, under state law, the smallest error, from typos to using a different colored petition, could get someone kicked off the ballot.
See if you can stay on the ballot. Play our latest game: Bump.
“Rules which would deny ballot access because of a typo do not make any sense,” said James. “Rules that would deny you access because you failed to paginate do not make sense. Rules that would deny you access because your petition is a different color do not make sense.”By Courtney Gross on July 27, 2009, 12:56 pm
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