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  • Concerns of ‘Voter Fatigue’ as New York Schedules Four 2016 Election Days

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    Mayor de Blasio votes (photo via @BilldeBlasio) 


    As New Yorkers begin a year of many voting opportunities, there are important questions that elections will help answer - like who the next U.S. President will be and which party will control the state Senate - but also concern about voter fatigue and thus, turnout.

    There will be at least four chances for New Yorkers to cast votes in 2016, with three different primary election days leading up to November’s general election. There will be a presidential primary vote in April;

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  • Filing, Tracking City & State Campaign Finance Data Will Become Easier

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    NYS BOE, left, NYC CFB, right


    Officials from the New York State Board of Elections and the New York City Campaign Finance Board outlined plans for overhauling their respective financial disclosure tools on Friday.

    Though both groups said they wanted to make it easier for campaign staff to file reports and for the public to access filings, a divide was clear between the state BOE and the city CFB in terms of current

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  • Boards to Offer Peek Into New Ways to Access Campaign Finance Data

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    (photo via @NYCCFB)


    On Friday morning representatives from both the New York State Board of Elections and the New York City Campaign Finance Board will come together to outline updates to their reporting systems and take questions from candidates, journalists, watchdogs, and others.

    John Kaehny of Reinvent Albany, the good government group hosting the event along with Civic Hall, where it will take place, said he is most excited to have representatives

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  • As Sheldon Silver Heads to Trial, A Democratic Challenger is Poised to Run

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    Paul Newell at a housing rally (via @NewellNYC)


    Manhattan District Leader Paul Newell is gearing up for his second bid to replace Assemblymember Sheldon Silver. Newell told Gotham Gazette that he has started fundraising and is "close to running." A political lifetime ago, in 2008, Newell ran a grassroots campaign to unseat Silver, who was then at the height of his power.

    Things have changed since then. Silver was indicted on multiple corruption charges earlier this year and then deposed from the Assembly speakership that he

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  • Candidates Allege Wright Unfairly Influences Elections

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    Keith Wright at the Puerto Rican Day Parade (photo: @KeithWright2016)


    Afua Atta-Mensah, candidate for female district leader in Harlem's 70th Assembly District, had no illusions that running for office for the first time would be easy. But after campaigning against the entrenched Harlem political machine all summer she wonders if she would do it again. "Any newcomer is not taken kindly when they are running against the machine," said Atta-Mensah, a public

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  • City Board of Elections Expected to Again See Budget Bump

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    BOE Executive Director Michael Ryan (photo: @BOENYC)


    On Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio is set to unveil his Fiscal Year 2016 Executive Budget, which is likely to be nearly identical to the final budget passed by the mayor and the City Council before the June 30 deadline. Much of the new version of the mayor's spending plan will be similar to his $77 billion preliminary budget, which he presented in February and was vetted throughout March by the Council. But, the de Blasio administration has already acknowledged several

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  • Quiet Before the Storm in New Phase of Mayoral Control Debate

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    Mayor de Blasio sits to testify in Albany (photo: Skip Dickstein via Twitter)


    At the end of June this year the law that grants New York's mayor control over city schools will expire. The expiration was designed so that all interested parties can take part in a discussion of what works and what doesn't, and adjust the law as needed. Parents, teachers, advocates, and legislators all have ideas about how to make the system better. But this year there

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  • With Another LLC Loophole Vote Coming, Dwindling Optimism About Any Campaign Finance Reform

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    Republican Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (photo: Governor's Office via flickr)


    The State Senate Elections Committee is expected to vote Monday whether to advance a bill that would close a controversial loophole in state election law that allows wealthy donors to pour unlimited cash into campaign coffers through the use of multiple limited liability corporations, or LLCs.

    Sen. Daniel Squadron, a New York City Democrat and the bill's sponsor, has maneuvered the bill to a committee vote despite major

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  • Left Out of Ethics Deal, LLC Loophole Faces Renewed Scrutiny

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    Gov. Cuomo & Speaker Heastie shake on an ethics deal (photo: Governor's Office via flickr)


    The New York State Board of Elections opened up a floodgate in 1996, allowing cash to flow virtually unabated to political candidates. The BOE issued a ruling that allowed limited liability corporations, or LLCs, to be treated as individual donors and individuals to donate unlimited funds to candidates for state-level offices by creating multiple LLCs. Efforts to change the law in the Legislature have failed miserably and

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  • 8 Government Ops Agencies to Face Council Questions

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    CM Ben Kallos (photo: William Alatriste)


    As preliminary budget hearings at the City Council approach the end of their third week, the Committee on Governmental Operations will meet Thursday to evaluate the expense plan for a host of city agencies.

    Members of the committee, chaired by Manhattan Council Member Ben Kallos, will meet representatives of eight city

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  • Mail Your Vote, Then Track It?

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    CM Kallos at a recent press conference on traffic safety (photo: @BenKallos)


    NEW YORK - There is a voter turnout crisis in this country, this state, and this city. Causes abound, including mistrust of politicians and barriers to easy voting. As elected officials, advocates, and experts look for solutions, some argue an inefficient system handling absentee ballots has caused thousands of New Yorkers to miss the opportunity to cast their votes.

    "We received numerous calls from frustrated voters who had not

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