Gotham Gazette Gotham Gazette is an online publication covering New York policy and politics as well as news on public safety, transportation, education, finance and more. http://www.gothamgazette.com/component/tags/tag/voter-turnout 2017-10-18T03:38:25+00:00 Webmaster webmaster@gothamgazette.com It’s Not Too Late to Start Paying Attention to the City Elections - Here’s How 2017-10-15T04:00:00+00:00 2017-10-15T04:00:00+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=7253:it-s-not-too-late-to-start-paying-attention-to-the-city-elections-here-s-how Ben Max <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2017/reset_1/17358963_1632433823439083_8347528747947462769_o.jpg" alt="NYC Votes voters New York City" width="600" height="600" /></p> <p>(image: NYC Votes)</p> <hr /> <p>If you’re one of many New Yorkers who have not been paying much attention to this year’s city elections, don’t worry, there’s still time to get up to speed and make informed decisions on Election Day, November 7.</p> <p>Tuesday will mark three weeks until that opportunity to vote, and after only about 14% of registered Democrats went to the polls in the September mayoral primary, it would be good for the city’s civic health if more voters cast ballots in November. (About 24% of city voters cast ballots in the last mayoral general election, in November 2013.)</p> <p>Voter turnout and election results send significant messages to our elected officials, and also to the candidates who come up short. Campaigns, consultants, candidates, and elected officials -- whether the mayor or your borough president, local City Council member or others -- know who votes and often pay attention to what voters think. Campaigns target and listen to people who have voted in the past. (One way to guarantee that your interests, preferences, and beliefs are not paid attention to is to continue not paying attention to city politics.)</p> <p>Even if you don’t have much time to dedicate to studying up, three weeks is still enough to get to know more about the candidates running for those city positions being elected this year, as well as the three questions that will be on the back of the ballot. This is direct democracy in action, and those who participate help keep our political leaders accountable, while also helping decide the direction the city heads for years to come.</p> <p>Local elected officials have many powers that directly influence everyday life, the way city services run, and the future of the city. City Council members are the local-most elected official and exist to represent you and your neighborhood -- on everything from street safety to school quality to small business policy to garbage pick-up to oversight of the NYPD, and much, much more. Along with every seat in the 51-member City Council, also on the ballot in November are the three citywide positions of Mayor, Comptroller, and Public Advocate, each Borough President position, several judicial posts, and the District Attorneys of Brooklyn and Manhattan.</p> <p>Then, <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/state/7108-there-will-be-three-big-questions-on-your-ballot-in-november" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">there are the three ballot questions</a> that each allow for a “yes” or “no” answer. Voters get to help decide whether 1) New York will hold a state constitutional convention, 2) corrupt politicians lose their pensions, and 3) small amounts of preserved upstate land can be used for vital infrastructure projects and be replaced by other new land.</p> <p>Unfortunately, there isn’t that much competition on the ballot, largely the case because it is the general election in a city home to many, many more Democrats than Republicans or members of other parties. After Democrats, the second largest group of registered voters in New York City is actually those who do not belong to any political party, and Republicans are the third largest group. Democratic primaries are often where the most action is -- something to keep in mind for the future. [<a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/city/6676-candidates-for-2017-city-elections-mayor-city-council-comptroller" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Here’s a full list of candidates</a> for all the city government posts on the ballot in November.]</p> <p>But for now, it is October, and you will have several choices to make if you choose to vote next month. There is competition for each of the three citywide positions, and plenty to brush up on with the candidates for those posts. For each, a Democratic incumbent is seeking a second term.</p> <p>There is also some competition for most of the other positions, though in many City Council races, the Democratic nominee is facing only nominal opposition. Still, it is important to look into the candidates and vote, helping to send a message, whether you are behind the eventual winner or not. Even incumbent City Council who win reelection pay attention to their vote totals and win margin, noticing if they have more work to do to win over constituents. Broadly speaking, there are <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/city/7217-10-races-more-to-watch-in-the-general-election" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">about ten City Council races</a> that are especially worth paying attention to, but all that really matters for most voters is who is running in your district.</p> <p>If you want to start paying attention to this city election cycle, here are a few ways to get started:</p> <p>-<a href="https://voterlookup.elections.state.ny.us/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Check your voter registration status</a>. If you’re not registered to vote it is now too late to register to vote this November (but you should still register and get to know what’s happening this year, then get ready to vote in state level elections in 2018.)</p> <p>-Watch Monday night’s Public Advocate debate between Democrat Letitia James and Republican J.C. Polanco. It will air at 7 p.m. on NY1 television and stream at <a href="http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">NY1.com</a>; it will also air at 7 p.m. on WNYC radio. It is the only Public Advocate debate of the general election. (<a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/city/6676-candidates-for-2017-city-elections-mayor-city-council-comptroller" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">There are other Public Advocate candidates running.</a>)</p> <p>-Watch Tuesday night’s Comptroller debate between Democrat Scott Stringer and Republican Michel Faulkner. It will air at 7 p.m. on NY1 television and stream at NY1.com; it will also air at 7 p.m. on WNYC radio. It is the only Comptroller debate of the general election. (<a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/city/6676-candidates-for-2017-city-elections-mayor-city-council-comptroller" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">There are other Comptroller candidates running.</a>)</p> <p>-Start researching the candidates for Mayor. There are seven: Democrat Bill de Blasio, Republican Nicole Malliotakis, independent Bo Dietl, Reform Party nominee Sal Albanese, Green Party nominee Akeem Browder, Libertarian Party nominee Aaron Commey, and independent Michael Tolkin.</p> <p>-Mark your calendar for Wednesday, November 1, which will be the second of two mayoral candidate debates. It is not yet clear which candidates beyond de Blasio and Malliotakis will be on the stage. It will be broadcast at 7 p.m. that night on CBS television.</p> <p>(You can catch up on the first debate by reading <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/city/7242-de-blasio-malliotakis-dietl-engage-in-raucous-mayoral-debate" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">our recap here</a>, listening to <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/city/7243-max-murphy-analyzing-the-first-general-election-mayoral-debate" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">this recap and analysis from our podcast</a>, or watching <a href="http://www.nyccfb.info/nyc-votes/2017-debate-program-moderators-and-panelists/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">the full debate</a>.)</p> <p>-Listen to <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/podcasts/max-murphy-on-politics" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">other recent and past episodes of our election year podcast</a>; which includes conversations with several mayoral candidates, both major party public advocate candidates, the Republican comptroller candidate, and others.</p> <p>-Poke around <a href="http://www.nyccfb.info/nyc-votes/vgwelcome/general-election-2017/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">the NYC Votes website</a> to view the candidate video statements from various candidates, including those who are running in your City Council district and those running to be your Borough President (you can punch your address in at the NYC Votes website to get a narrowed scope of who will be on your ballot). NYC Votes is the nonpartisan voter education and outreach arm of the city’s Campaign Finance Board, which oversees campaign finances and helps run the debates.</p> <p>-Take <a href="http://nycvotes.nyccfb.info/top_issue_survey?utm_campaign=sept29_funfri&amp;utm_campaign=oct13_ffsurvey1&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_source=nycvotes&amp;utm_source=nycvotes" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">this NYC Votes survey</a> and sign up for updates.</p> <p>-Read up on the three ballot questions <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/state/7108-there-will-be-three-big-questions-on-your-ballot-in-november" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">from Gotham Gazette</a> and/or <a href="http://www.nyccfb.info/nyc-votes/vgwelcome/general-election-2017/ballot-proposals/?languageType=English" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">from NYC Votes</a>.</p> <p>-As much as you can and want to, start reading regular coverage of the campaigns and city politics, in Gotham Gazette and other news outlets. Watch NY1, listen to WNYC radio.</p> <p>-Mark your calendar for November 7, Election Day, and make a voting plan.</p> <p>-<a href="https://nyc.pollsitelocator.com/Search.aspx" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Check your polling site</a> to see where you go to vote on November 7.</p> <p>

***
by Ben Max, Gotham Gazette
     

Read more by this writer.

</p>
<p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2017/reset_1/17358963_1632433823439083_8347528747947462769_o.jpg" alt="NYC Votes voters New York City" width="600" height="600" /></p> <p>(image: NYC Votes)</p> <hr /> <p>If you’re one of many New Yorkers who have not been paying much attention to this year’s city elections, don’t worry, there’s still time to get up to speed and make informed decisions on Election Day, November 7.</p> <p>Tuesday will mark three weeks until that opportunity to vote, and after only about 14% of registered Democrats went to the polls in the September mayoral primary, it would be good for the city’s civic health if more voters cast ballots in November. (About 24% of city voters cast ballots in the last mayoral general election, in November 2013.)</p> <p>Voter turnout and election results send significant messages to our elected officials, and also to the candidates who come up short. Campaigns, consultants, candidates, and elected officials -- whether the mayor or your borough president, local City Council member or others -- know who votes and often pay attention to what voters think. Campaigns target and listen to people who have voted in the past. (One way to guarantee that your interests, preferences, and beliefs are not paid attention to is to continue not paying attention to city politics.)</p> <p>Even if you don’t have much time to dedicate to studying up, three weeks is still enough to get to know more about the candidates running for those city positions being elected this year, as well as the three questions that will be on the back of the ballot. This is direct democracy in action, and those who participate help keep our political leaders accountable, while also helping decide the direction the city heads for years to come.</p> <p>Local elected officials have many powers that directly influence everyday life, the way city services run, and the future of the city. City Council members are the local-most elected official and exist to represent you and your neighborhood -- on everything from street safety to school quality to small business policy to garbage pick-up to oversight of the NYPD, and much, much more. Along with every seat in the 51-member City Council, also on the ballot in November are the three citywide positions of Mayor, Comptroller, and Public Advocate, each Borough President position, several judicial posts, and the District Attorneys of Brooklyn and Manhattan.</p> <p>Then, <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/state/7108-there-will-be-three-big-questions-on-your-ballot-in-november" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">there are the three ballot questions</a> that each allow for a “yes” or “no” answer. Voters get to help decide whether 1) New York will hold a state constitutional convention, 2) corrupt politicians lose their pensions, and 3) small amounts of preserved upstate land can be used for vital infrastructure projects and be replaced by other new land.</p> <p>Unfortunately, there isn’t that much competition on the ballot, largely the case because it is the general election in a city home to many, many more Democrats than Republicans or members of other parties. After Democrats, the second largest group of registered voters in New York City is actually those who do not belong to any political party, and Republicans are the third largest group. Democratic primaries are often where the most action is -- something to keep in mind for the future. [<a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/city/6676-candidates-for-2017-city-elections-mayor-city-council-comptroller" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Here’s a full list of candidates</a> for all the city government posts on the ballot in November.]</p> <p>But for now, it is October, and you will have several choices to make if you choose to vote next month. There is competition for each of the three citywide positions, and plenty to brush up on with the candidates for those posts. For each, a Democratic incumbent is seeking a second term.</p> <p>There is also some competition for most of the other positions, though in many City Council races, the Democratic nominee is facing only nominal opposition. Still, it is important to look into the candidates and vote, helping to send a message, whether you are behind the eventual winner or not. Even incumbent City Council who win reelection pay attention to their vote totals and win margin, noticing if they have more work to do to win over constituents. Broadly speaking, there are <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/city/7217-10-races-more-to-watch-in-the-general-election" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">about ten City Council races</a> that are especially worth paying attention to, but all that really matters for most voters is who is running in your district.</p> <p>If you want to start paying attention to this city election cycle, here are a few ways to get started:</p> <p>-<a href="https://voterlookup.elections.state.ny.us/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Check your voter registration status</a>. If you’re not registered to vote it is now too late to register to vote this November (but you should still register and get to know what’s happening this year, then get ready to vote in state level elections in 2018.)</p> <p>-Watch Monday night’s Public Advocate debate between Democrat Letitia James and Republican J.C. Polanco. It will air at 7 p.m. on NY1 television and stream at <a href="http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">NY1.com</a>; it will also air at 7 p.m. on WNYC radio. It is the only Public Advocate debate of the general election. (<a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/city/6676-candidates-for-2017-city-elections-mayor-city-council-comptroller" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">There are other Public Advocate candidates running.</a>)</p> <p>-Watch Tuesday night’s Comptroller debate between Democrat Scott Stringer and Republican Michel Faulkner. It will air at 7 p.m. on NY1 television and stream at NY1.com; it will also air at 7 p.m. on WNYC radio. It is the only Comptroller debate of the general election. (<a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/city/6676-candidates-for-2017-city-elections-mayor-city-council-comptroller" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">There are other Comptroller candidates running.</a>)</p> <p>-Start researching the candidates for Mayor. There are seven: Democrat Bill de Blasio, Republican Nicole Malliotakis, independent Bo Dietl, Reform Party nominee Sal Albanese, Green Party nominee Akeem Browder, Libertarian Party nominee Aaron Commey, and independent Michael Tolkin.</p> <p>-Mark your calendar for Wednesday, November 1, which will be the second of two mayoral candidate debates. It is not yet clear which candidates beyond de Blasio and Malliotakis will be on the stage. It will be broadcast at 7 p.m. that night on CBS television.</p> <p>(You can catch up on the first debate by reading <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/city/7242-de-blasio-malliotakis-dietl-engage-in-raucous-mayoral-debate" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">our recap here</a>, listening to <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/city/7243-max-murphy-analyzing-the-first-general-election-mayoral-debate" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">this recap and analysis from our podcast</a>, or watching <a href="http://www.nyccfb.info/nyc-votes/2017-debate-program-moderators-and-panelists/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">the full debate</a>.)</p> <p>-Listen to <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/podcasts/max-murphy-on-politics" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">other recent and past episodes of our election year podcast</a>; which includes conversations with several mayoral candidates, both major party public advocate candidates, the Republican comptroller candidate, and others.</p> <p>-Poke around <a href="http://www.nyccfb.info/nyc-votes/vgwelcome/general-election-2017/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">the NYC Votes website</a> to view the candidate video statements from various candidates, including those who are running in your City Council district and those running to be your Borough President (you can punch your address in at the NYC Votes website to get a narrowed scope of who will be on your ballot). NYC Votes is the nonpartisan voter education and outreach arm of the city’s Campaign Finance Board, which oversees campaign finances and helps run the debates.</p> <p>-Take <a href="http://nycvotes.nyccfb.info/top_issue_survey?utm_campaign=sept29_funfri&amp;utm_campaign=oct13_ffsurvey1&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_source=nycvotes&amp;utm_source=nycvotes" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">this NYC Votes survey</a> and sign up for updates.</p> <p>-Read up on the three ballot questions <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/state/7108-there-will-be-three-big-questions-on-your-ballot-in-november" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">from Gotham Gazette</a> and/or <a href="http://www.nyccfb.info/nyc-votes/vgwelcome/general-election-2017/ballot-proposals/?languageType=English" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">from NYC Votes</a>.</p> <p>-As much as you can and want to, start reading regular coverage of the campaigns and city politics, in Gotham Gazette and other news outlets. Watch NY1, listen to WNYC radio.</p> <p>-Mark your calendar for November 7, Election Day, and make a voting plan.</p> <p>-<a href="https://nyc.pollsitelocator.com/Search.aspx" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Check your polling site</a> to see where you go to vote on November 7.</p> <p>

***
by Ben Max, Gotham Gazette
     

Read more by this writer.

</p>
You Can Help Boost Voter Turnout on Election Day, But You Have to Register Soon 2017-10-05T04:00:00+00:00 2017-10-05T04:00:00+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=7237:you-can-help-boost-voter-turnout-on-election-day-but-you-have-to-register-soon Ben Max <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2017/reset_1/30237613934_e09b7565df_z.jpg" alt="voting booth elections " width="600" height="399" /></p> <p>(Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)</p> <hr /> <p>In order to vote in the city’s November 7 general election -- for Mayor, Public Advocate, Comptroller, Borough President City Council, and other offices -- <a href="https://www.elections.ny.gov/VotingDeadlines.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">one must register with the Board of Elections</a> by Friday, October 13. For registrations by mail, registration forms must be postmarked by October 13 and received by the BOE by Wednesday, October 18. This is only for New York City residents who are not currently registered to vote.</p> <p>Since party primaries are over, prospective voters are no longer being held to party registration deadlines and regulations -- New York has a closed primary system, with party-change deadlines far in advance. To vote in November’s election, one must simply be registered, with any party or none -- those registered to vote but not with one of about 10 official political parties are called “unaffiliated” voters. They are also at times referred to as “independents” or even “blanks” because of how they leave the party registration section of the form.</p> <p>It appears that many New Yorkers have registered with the Independence Party thinking that it makes them an “independent” voter, but that is not the case.</p> <p>Notably, though, Friday, October 13 -- of this year, 2017 -- is also the deadline to change your party registration ahead of next year's 2018 state-level electoral primaries in New York. If you're already registered to vote, you can declare a party or change parties by October 13 and be eligible for voting in Democratic, Republican, or other party primaries next fall.</p> <p>Turnout on this Election Day is expected to be very low, with Mayor Bill de Blasio appearing likely to trounce his main opponents, Republican Nicole Malliotakis and independent Bo Dietl, as well as other minor candidates, including Reform Party nominee Sal Albanese, Green Party nominee Akeem Browder, and Michael Tolkin, running on his self-created Smart Cities ballot line.</p> <p>In 2013, the turnout in the general election between de Blasio and Republican Joe Lhota was a meager <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/news/election-2013/2013/11/06/new-york-turnout-appears-headed-for-record-low/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">24%, the lowest in the city’s modern history</a>. The 24% turnout in the general came after the Democratic and Republican primaries clocked in at <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/13/nyregion/20-turnout-in-new-york-primaries.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">22% and 12%</a>, respectively.</p> <p>In this year’s Democratic primary on September 12, <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/de-blasio-set-win-low-turnout-democratic-mayoral-primary-article-1.3489468" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">14%</a> of registered Democrats turned out to cast ballots. This is one of the lowest Democratic primary turnouts in the city’s history; in 2009, Bill Thompson won the Democratic mayoral primary with turnout of 11%.</p> <p>This starkly low turnout in the Democratic primary comes in the wake of <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/city/7036-8-new-report-shows-shockingly-low-voter-turnout-in-nyc" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">even lower turnout</a> numbers in last year’s primaries for state and federal legislative offices. In the September 2016 state legislative primary, turnout totaled 10%; in June’s congressional primary, turnout stood at a measly 8%, according to a <a href="http://vote.nyc.ny.us/downloads/pdf/documents/boe/AnnualReports/BOEAnnualReport16.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">report</a> from the City’s Board of Elections.</p> <p>These numbers stood in sharp contrast to the turnout rates for the higher profile presidential contest that year: 35% of registered party members voted in April’s presidential primary, and 62% of registered voters in New York City voted in the November general election, with Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump at the top of the marquee.</p> <p>As of April 1 in New York City, there were just under 5 million registered voters. Of these, about 3.43 million were Democrats, about 522,600 were Republicans, and about 880,660 were unaffiliated with a party. Many thousands more were spread among the smaller parties, including Green, Reform, Independence, Conservative, and Working Families.</p> <p><a href="http://maristpoll.marist.edu/919-nyc-mayors-race-de-blasio-leads-malliotakis-by-47-points-mayors-approval-rating-highest-in-two-years/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">A recent poll</a> for this year’s mayoral race from NBC-4 and Marist College shows de Blasio leading the pack with 65% of the vote, followed by Malliotakis at 18% and Dietl at 8%. While there are several weeks to Election Day, competitors must catch fire soon to have a chance to unseat the Democratic incumbent. The first debate -- with de Blasio, Malliotakis and Dietl -- is scheduled for Tuesday, October 10.</p> <p>New Yorkers can check their registration status <a href="https://voterlookup.elections.state.ny.us/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">here</a>, check registration deadlines <a href="https://www.elections.ny.gov/VotingDeadlines.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">here</a>, and see a full list of candidates for all offices in the general election <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/city/6676-candidates-for-2017-city-elections-mayor-city-council-comptroller" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">here</a>.</p> <p>

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by Ben Brachfeld, Gotham Gazette

Read more by this writer.

</p>
<p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2017/reset_1/30237613934_e09b7565df_z.jpg" alt="voting booth elections " width="600" height="399" /></p> <p>(Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)</p> <hr /> <p>In order to vote in the city’s November 7 general election -- for Mayor, Public Advocate, Comptroller, Borough President City Council, and other offices -- <a href="https://www.elections.ny.gov/VotingDeadlines.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">one must register with the Board of Elections</a> by Friday, October 13. For registrations by mail, registration forms must be postmarked by October 13 and received by the BOE by Wednesday, October 18. This is only for New York City residents who are not currently registered to vote.</p> <p>Since party primaries are over, prospective voters are no longer being held to party registration deadlines and regulations -- New York has a closed primary system, with party-change deadlines far in advance. To vote in November’s election, one must simply be registered, with any party or none -- those registered to vote but not with one of about 10 official political parties are called “unaffiliated” voters. They are also at times referred to as “independents” or even “blanks” because of how they leave the party registration section of the form.</p> <p>It appears that many New Yorkers have registered with the Independence Party thinking that it makes them an “independent” voter, but that is not the case.</p> <p>Notably, though, Friday, October 13 -- of this year, 2017 -- is also the deadline to change your party registration ahead of next year's 2018 state-level electoral primaries in New York. If you're already registered to vote, you can declare a party or change parties by October 13 and be eligible for voting in Democratic, Republican, or other party primaries next fall.</p> <p>Turnout on this Election Day is expected to be very low, with Mayor Bill de Blasio appearing likely to trounce his main opponents, Republican Nicole Malliotakis and independent Bo Dietl, as well as other minor candidates, including Reform Party nominee Sal Albanese, Green Party nominee Akeem Browder, and Michael Tolkin, running on his self-created Smart Cities ballot line.</p> <p>In 2013, the turnout in the general election between de Blasio and Republican Joe Lhota was a meager <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/news/election-2013/2013/11/06/new-york-turnout-appears-headed-for-record-low/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">24%, the lowest in the city’s modern history</a>. The 24% turnout in the general came after the Democratic and Republican primaries clocked in at <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/13/nyregion/20-turnout-in-new-york-primaries.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">22% and 12%</a>, respectively.</p> <p>In this year’s Democratic primary on September 12, <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/de-blasio-set-win-low-turnout-democratic-mayoral-primary-article-1.3489468" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">14%</a> of registered Democrats turned out to cast ballots. This is one of the lowest Democratic primary turnouts in the city’s history; in 2009, Bill Thompson won the Democratic mayoral primary with turnout of 11%.</p> <p>This starkly low turnout in the Democratic primary comes in the wake of <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/city/7036-8-new-report-shows-shockingly-low-voter-turnout-in-nyc" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">even lower turnout</a> numbers in last year’s primaries for state and federal legislative offices. In the September 2016 state legislative primary, turnout totaled 10%; in June’s congressional primary, turnout stood at a measly 8%, according to a <a href="http://vote.nyc.ny.us/downloads/pdf/documents/boe/AnnualReports/BOEAnnualReport16.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">report</a> from the City’s Board of Elections.</p> <p>These numbers stood in sharp contrast to the turnout rates for the higher profile presidential contest that year: 35% of registered party members voted in April’s presidential primary, and 62% of registered voters in New York City voted in the November general election, with Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump at the top of the marquee.</p> <p>As of April 1 in New York City, there were just under 5 million registered voters. Of these, about 3.43 million were Democrats, about 522,600 were Republicans, and about 880,660 were unaffiliated with a party. Many thousands more were spread among the smaller parties, including Green, Reform, Independence, Conservative, and Working Families.</p> <p><a href="http://maristpoll.marist.edu/919-nyc-mayors-race-de-blasio-leads-malliotakis-by-47-points-mayors-approval-rating-highest-in-two-years/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">A recent poll</a> for this year’s mayoral race from NBC-4 and Marist College shows de Blasio leading the pack with 65% of the vote, followed by Malliotakis at 18% and Dietl at 8%. While there are several weeks to Election Day, competitors must catch fire soon to have a chance to unseat the Democratic incumbent. The first debate -- with de Blasio, Malliotakis and Dietl -- is scheduled for Tuesday, October 10.</p> <p>New Yorkers can check their registration status <a href="https://voterlookup.elections.state.ny.us/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">here</a>, check registration deadlines <a href="https://www.elections.ny.gov/VotingDeadlines.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">here</a>, and see a full list of candidates for all offices in the general election <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/city/6676-candidates-for-2017-city-elections-mayor-city-council-comptroller" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">here</a>.</p> <p>

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by Ben Brachfeld, Gotham Gazette

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</p>
2013 Voter Turnout Numbers Help Preview 2017 Primaries 2017-09-11T04:00:00+00:00 2017-09-11T04:00:00+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=7188:2013-voter-turnout-numbers-help-preview-the-2017-primaries Ben Max <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2017/32985704776_33ebe4d22e_z.jpg" alt="de Blasio voting" width="600" height="400" /></p> <p>(photo: Samar Khurshid/Gotham Gazette)</p> <hr /> <p>New York City voters head to the polls Tuesday in this year’s party primary elections, mostly contests among competing Democrats. It is expected to be another low turnout election. Four years ago, only about 691,000 of the city’s 3.4 million (20%) registered Democrats voted in a high-profile, exciting, and hugely consequential mayoral primary with no incumbent in the race. Bill de Blasio won that primary and went on to cruise in the general election, which also saw terribly low voter turnout.</p> <p>In 2013, there were also open seats for the other citywide positions of Comptroller and Public Advocate, with highly-competitive Democratic primaries in each, and many open seats for Borough President and City Council positions. If all that competition couldn’t drive much turnout, this year could see an especially shockingly low number of voters cast ballots.</p> <p>Mayor de Blasio is expected to win reelection handily this year and is facing limited competition in the Democratic mayoral primary, though his main challenger, former City Council Member Sal Albanese has expressed optimism, citing a lack of enthusiasm for de Blasio. There are far fewer “open” City Council and other seats this cycle, with many incumbents gliding to reelection, some with nominal primary competition and some with none at all. In this heavily Democratic city, the Democratic Party primary is often the main event in terms of who wins an election.</p> <p>As of April 1, the city was home to just under 5 million registered voters: 3.43 million Democrats; 880,660 unaffiliated with a party; 522,629 Republicans; and a few hundred thousand with other smaller parties.</p> <p>There are about 20 races of particular interest on primary day, including the Democratic mayoral primary, if for nothing else to see what margin de Blasio can post; a very competitive Brooklyn District Attorney primary; the 10 “open” City Council seats; and another eight to ten Council races where the incumbent is facing a tough primary challenge.</p> <p>As we look ahead to the outcomes, a look back at 2013 can be helpful.</p> <p>In the end, elections are all about votes, and which candidates turn out their supporters or win the votes of those turning out because they always vote or they are motivated by another race on the ballot.</p> <p>Turnout numbers and some of the primary election outcomes in specific races from 2013 can help us have a better sense of what is at play on primary day this year.</p> <p>Of those 691,000 Democrats who voted in the 2013 primary for mayor, 282,344 voted for de Blasio, giving him just above the 40% he needed to avoid a runoff. It was a very crowded field, so de Blasio could easily surpass that vote total this year, but that will in part depend on overall turnout, which is expected to be lower than four years ago. Turnout and margin will both factor into how New York’s media and political classes interpret the results, including around a potential “mandate,” or lack thereof, for de Blasio. If he’s victorious on primary day, de Blasio will still have to defeat several general election opponents, including Republican Nicole Malliotakis, independent Bo Dietl, and, likely, Albanese, who has been backed by the Reform Party, among other candidates.</p> <p>In the Brooklyn DA race, the late Ken Thompson won the 2013 primary, unseating long-time District Attorney Charles Hynes. After Thompson’s death due to cancer, Acting District Attorney Eric Gonzalez is seeking election to keep the position. He’s facing five qualified opponents in the primary. Brooklyn Democrats are eligible to vote in this election.</p> <p>In 2013, Thompson won 100,678 votes to Hynes’ 81,173. In a crowded field with potentially lower turnout, the number to win the primary is surely lower than 100,000.</p> <p>As for key City Council races, several interesting 2013 numbers are at play.</p> <p>In City Council District 1, Council Member Margaret Chin is again running for reelection and facing a fight. In 2013, Chin won 8,846 votes to Jenifer Rajkumar’s 6,171. This year she faces several challengers, led by Christopher Marte.</p> <p>In Council District 2, term-limited Council Member Rosie Mendez won reelection in 2013 with 12,507 votes. Her nearest competitor earned 2,809 votes. For this “open” seat, Mendez has endorsed frontrunner Carlina Rivera in a crowded primary with two other strong contenders, Mary Silver and Ronnie Cho.</p> <p>In Council District 4, there was no primary in 2013 as term-limited Council Member Dan Garodnick cruised to reelection. There is a very large Democratic field this year, with Keith Powers and Marti Speranza seen as the frontrunners. Powers earned Garodnick’s endorsement this weekend. In this crowded race, the winner could get under 30% of the vote.</p> <p>In Council District 6 we see one of three interesting rematches happening this year. This Upper West Side district is also almost always the highest turnout area of the city. Council Member Helen Rosenthal is being opposed by Mel Wymore, who came in second to Rosenthal in a crowded 2013 primary when it was an “open” seat. In 2013, there were 28,749 votes cast in the Democratic City Council primary. Rosenthal earned 7,716 for the win. Wymore earned 6,440. The two combined for about half the votes cast in the race. Rosenthal now has the power of incumbency and many more endorsements than in 2013. Wymore may also be hurt by the presence of a third candidate, Cary Goodman, who may siphon some anti-Rosenthal votes.</p> <p>In Council District 8, Council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, now term-limited, won reelection in 2013 through a Democratic primary that saw 10,567 votes (a little more than a third of the votes cast in District 6), with 3,768 for the incumbent, who had several challengers. Mark-Viverito is now working hard to see her preferred successor, Diana Ayala, elected this year. She is facing a tough competition with Assemblymember Robert Rodriguez.</p> <p>There were just 8,832 votes cast in the Council District 18 primary election in 2013, when Annabel Palma, now term-limited, won with 6,244 votes. Her challenger, William Moore, received 2,588 votes. Moore is running again this year, in a race that features a wider Democratic primary field headlined by State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. The winner this year is likely to be elected with just a few thousand votes.</p> <p>In one of the most-watched races of this cycle, Democratic voters in Queens’ 21st City Council District will choose between Assemblymember Francisco Moya and former Council Member and former State Senator Hiram Monserrate, who has convictions to his name for assaulting his then girlfriend and for misusing public money. Despite Monserrate’s criminal record, he retains a base of support. In 2013, outgoing City Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland won the primary unopposed. She has endorsed Moya for the seat.</p> <p>The Council District 28 seat is already vacant given former Council Member Ruben Wills’ recent corruption conviction. In 2013, Wills won the Democratic primary with 5,095 of the 10,420 votes cast. In second place was Hettie Powell, who received 3,435 votes. Powell is now running again, and is facing Adrienne Adams and Richard David. Adams has a lot of institutional support from the types of elected officials and unions that help get out the vote.</p> <p>One of the most-watched races on primary day where an incumbent is being threatened by a tough challenger is in Council District 35, where Laurie Cumbo is again facing Ede Fox. When the seat was “open” in 2013, Cumbo won a crowded primary with 7,561 of the 20,895 votes cast among Democrats. Fox finished third with 5,340. This year, it’s just Cumbo and Fox head to head in the primary, though Cumbo now has key advantages (and some negatives) that come with incumbency.</p> <p>In Council District 38, Carlos Menchaca is trying to hold onto his seat. He is facing several primary challengers, most notably Sara Gonzalez, whom Menchaca unseated in a rare feat in 2013, and Assemblymember Felix Ortiz. It is especially rare that an elected official would challenge a member of his or her own party in a primary, but Ortiz is doing it this year. In 2013, Menchaca received 4,306 votes to Gonzalez’s 3,017. District 38 was one of the lowest turnout districts in 2013.</p> <p>Mathieu Eugene is trying to keep his Council seat in Brooklyn’s 40th District, where he faces two formidable challengers, Pia Raymond and Brian Cunningham. Raymond and Cunningham may split the anti-Eugene vote and send the incumbent back to the Council. In 2013, Eugene received 6,210 votes, whereas his top challenger, Saundra Thomas, received 4,862 votes. There were 12,974 votes cast in the District 40 primary overall, with Eugene receiving fewer than half.</p> <p>Another lowest of the low turnout districts is Brooklyn’s 41st. Term-limited Council Member Darlene Mealy will be replaced this year, with a crowded Democratic field vying for the seat. Mealy received 7,607 of the 11,469 votes cast in the 2013 primary.</p> <p>[See <a href="http://vote.nyc.ny.us/html/results/2013.shtml" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">the full list of 2013 results</a> from the Board of Elections]</p> <p>

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by Ben Max, Gotham Gazette
     

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</p>
<p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2017/32985704776_33ebe4d22e_z.jpg" alt="de Blasio voting" width="600" height="400" /></p> <p>(photo: Samar Khurshid/Gotham Gazette)</p> <hr /> <p>New York City voters head to the polls Tuesday in this year’s party primary elections, mostly contests among competing Democrats. It is expected to be another low turnout election. Four years ago, only about 691,000 of the city’s 3.4 million (20%) registered Democrats voted in a high-profile, exciting, and hugely consequential mayoral primary with no incumbent in the race. Bill de Blasio won that primary and went on to cruise in the general election, which also saw terribly low voter turnout.</p> <p>In 2013, there were also open seats for the other citywide positions of Comptroller and Public Advocate, with highly-competitive Democratic primaries in each, and many open seats for Borough President and City Council positions. If all that competition couldn’t drive much turnout, this year could see an especially shockingly low number of voters cast ballots.</p> <p>Mayor de Blasio is expected to win reelection handily this year and is facing limited competition in the Democratic mayoral primary, though his main challenger, former City Council Member Sal Albanese has expressed optimism, citing a lack of enthusiasm for de Blasio. There are far fewer “open” City Council and other seats this cycle, with many incumbents gliding to reelection, some with nominal primary competition and some with none at all. In this heavily Democratic city, the Democratic Party primary is often the main event in terms of who wins an election.</p> <p>As of April 1, the city was home to just under 5 million registered voters: 3.43 million Democrats; 880,660 unaffiliated with a party; 522,629 Republicans; and a few hundred thousand with other smaller parties.</p> <p>There are about 20 races of particular interest on primary day, including the Democratic mayoral primary, if for nothing else to see what margin de Blasio can post; a very competitive Brooklyn District Attorney primary; the 10 “open” City Council seats; and another eight to ten Council races where the incumbent is facing a tough primary challenge.</p> <p>As we look ahead to the outcomes, a look back at 2013 can be helpful.</p> <p>In the end, elections are all about votes, and which candidates turn out their supporters or win the votes of those turning out because they always vote or they are motivated by another race on the ballot.</p> <p>Turnout numbers and some of the primary election outcomes in specific races from 2013 can help us have a better sense of what is at play on primary day this year.</p> <p>Of those 691,000 Democrats who voted in the 2013 primary for mayor, 282,344 voted for de Blasio, giving him just above the 40% he needed to avoid a runoff. It was a very crowded field, so de Blasio could easily surpass that vote total this year, but that will in part depend on overall turnout, which is expected to be lower than four years ago. Turnout and margin will both factor into how New York’s media and political classes interpret the results, including around a potential “mandate,” or lack thereof, for de Blasio. If he’s victorious on primary day, de Blasio will still have to defeat several general election opponents, including Republican Nicole Malliotakis, independent Bo Dietl, and, likely, Albanese, who has been backed by the Reform Party, among other candidates.</p> <p>In the Brooklyn DA race, the late Ken Thompson won the 2013 primary, unseating long-time District Attorney Charles Hynes. After Thompson’s death due to cancer, Acting District Attorney Eric Gonzalez is seeking election to keep the position. He’s facing five qualified opponents in the primary. Brooklyn Democrats are eligible to vote in this election.</p> <p>In 2013, Thompson won 100,678 votes to Hynes’ 81,173. In a crowded field with potentially lower turnout, the number to win the primary is surely lower than 100,000.</p> <p>As for key City Council races, several interesting 2013 numbers are at play.</p> <p>In City Council District 1, Council Member Margaret Chin is again running for reelection and facing a fight. In 2013, Chin won 8,846 votes to Jenifer Rajkumar’s 6,171. This year she faces several challengers, led by Christopher Marte.</p> <p>In Council District 2, term-limited Council Member Rosie Mendez won reelection in 2013 with 12,507 votes. Her nearest competitor earned 2,809 votes. For this “open” seat, Mendez has endorsed frontrunner Carlina Rivera in a crowded primary with two other strong contenders, Mary Silver and Ronnie Cho.</p> <p>In Council District 4, there was no primary in 2013 as term-limited Council Member Dan Garodnick cruised to reelection. There is a very large Democratic field this year, with Keith Powers and Marti Speranza seen as the frontrunners. Powers earned Garodnick’s endorsement this weekend. In this crowded race, the winner could get under 30% of the vote.</p> <p>In Council District 6 we see one of three interesting rematches happening this year. This Upper West Side district is also almost always the highest turnout area of the city. Council Member Helen Rosenthal is being opposed by Mel Wymore, who came in second to Rosenthal in a crowded 2013 primary when it was an “open” seat. In 2013, there were 28,749 votes cast in the Democratic City Council primary. Rosenthal earned 7,716 for the win. Wymore earned 6,440. The two combined for about half the votes cast in the race. Rosenthal now has the power of incumbency and many more endorsements than in 2013. Wymore may also be hurt by the presence of a third candidate, Cary Goodman, who may siphon some anti-Rosenthal votes.</p> <p>In Council District 8, Council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, now term-limited, won reelection in 2013 through a Democratic primary that saw 10,567 votes (a little more than a third of the votes cast in District 6), with 3,768 for the incumbent, who had several challengers. Mark-Viverito is now working hard to see her preferred successor, Diana Ayala, elected this year. She is facing a tough competition with Assemblymember Robert Rodriguez.</p> <p>There were just 8,832 votes cast in the Council District 18 primary election in 2013, when Annabel Palma, now term-limited, won with 6,244 votes. Her challenger, William Moore, received 2,588 votes. Moore is running again this year, in a race that features a wider Democratic primary field headlined by State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. The winner this year is likely to be elected with just a few thousand votes.</p> <p>In one of the most-watched races of this cycle, Democratic voters in Queens’ 21st City Council District will choose between Assemblymember Francisco Moya and former Council Member and former State Senator Hiram Monserrate, who has convictions to his name for assaulting his then girlfriend and for misusing public money. Despite Monserrate’s criminal record, he retains a base of support. In 2013, outgoing City Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland won the primary unopposed. She has endorsed Moya for the seat.</p> <p>The Council District 28 seat is already vacant given former Council Member Ruben Wills’ recent corruption conviction. In 2013, Wills won the Democratic primary with 5,095 of the 10,420 votes cast. In second place was Hettie Powell, who received 3,435 votes. Powell is now running again, and is facing Adrienne Adams and Richard David. Adams has a lot of institutional support from the types of elected officials and unions that help get out the vote.</p> <p>One of the most-watched races on primary day where an incumbent is being threatened by a tough challenger is in Council District 35, where Laurie Cumbo is again facing Ede Fox. When the seat was “open” in 2013, Cumbo won a crowded primary with 7,561 of the 20,895 votes cast among Democrats. Fox finished third with 5,340. This year, it’s just Cumbo and Fox head to head in the primary, though Cumbo now has key advantages (and some negatives) that come with incumbency.</p> <p>In Council District 38, Carlos Menchaca is trying to hold onto his seat. He is facing several primary challengers, most notably Sara Gonzalez, whom Menchaca unseated in a rare feat in 2013, and Assemblymember Felix Ortiz. It is especially rare that an elected official would challenge a member of his or her own party in a primary, but Ortiz is doing it this year. In 2013, Menchaca received 4,306 votes to Gonzalez’s 3,017. District 38 was one of the lowest turnout districts in 2013.</p> <p>Mathieu Eugene is trying to keep his Council seat in Brooklyn’s 40th District, where he faces two formidable challengers, Pia Raymond and Brian Cunningham. Raymond and Cunningham may split the anti-Eugene vote and send the incumbent back to the Council. In 2013, Eugene received 6,210 votes, whereas his top challenger, Saundra Thomas, received 4,862 votes. There were 12,974 votes cast in the District 40 primary overall, with Eugene receiving fewer than half.</p> <p>Another lowest of the low turnout districts is Brooklyn’s 41st. Term-limited Council Member Darlene Mealy will be replaced this year, with a crowded Democratic field vying for the seat. Mealy received 7,607 of the 11,469 votes cast in the 2013 primary.</p> <p>[See <a href="http://vote.nyc.ny.us/html/results/2013.shtml" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">the full list of 2013 results</a> from the Board of Elections]</p> <p>

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by Ben Max, Gotham Gazette
     

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</p>
8%! New Report Shows Shockingly Low Voter Turnout in NYC 2017-06-27T04:00:09+00:00 2017-06-27T04:00:09+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=7036:8-new-report-shows-shockingly-low-voter-turnout-in-nyc Ben Max <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2017/30833378216_dde865964a_z.jpg" alt="30833378216 dde865964a z" width="640" height="426" /></p> <p>(photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)</p> <hr /> <p>A <a href="http://vote.nyc.ny.us/downloads/pdf/documents/boe/AnnualReports/BOEAnnualReport16.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">recent report</a> by New York City’s Board of Elections details shockingly low voter turnout in the 2016 congressional and state primary elections. The new numbers come amid increased attention to New York’s suppressive voting laws but little action from state lawmakers who could implement reforms like early voting, same-day registration, automatic voter registration, or even consolidation of primaries.</p> <p>Because it was a presidential year, New Yorkers voted in three primaries -- presidential (April), congressional (June) and state (September) -- and the November general election.</p> <p>The BOE report shows middling turnout for the presidential primaries, despite -- or because of -- New York’s strict party registration rules, and somewhat strong turnout for the November general election. The two other primaries show abysmal numbers, however.</p> <p>The November 8 general election, wherein Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump topped the ballot, there was a 62% turnout rate among active eligible voters. Active voters are a smaller pool than eligible voters, which includes unregistered voters, and slightly smaller than if inactive registered voters would be included. The city turnout was slighter higher than the national turnout of 59.7%.</p> <p>Primary elections were a different story entirely: for the presidential primary in April 2016, the city saw a 35% turnout; for the June federal primary, 8%; and for the September state and local primary, 10% turnout.</p> <p>The report, simply titled “Annual Report 2016,” was released on the BOE’s website, although it does not indicate a date of publish and multiple representatives at the BOE could not provide a specific date of its publication. Along with information about the board’s president, Maria Guastella, and its borough commissioners, the report also includes data beyond just 2016 voter turnout.</p> <p>The city Board of Elections has been the focus of criticism for many years, especially of late, for mismanagement or even malice; after a mistaken voter roll purge led to thousands of active voters being removed from the rolls, many votes in the presidential primary were declared invalid, in a situation Attorney General Eric Schneiderman referred to in harsh terms. “Democracy itself is under attack,” he <a href="http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/purge-outdated-voter-rolls-nyc-tried-bad-results/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">said</a> upon joining a lawsuit over the purge.</p> <p>The BOE report on 2016 details actions undertaken by the board to increase turnout and streamline the election process, such as a public education campaign on city elections conducted in five different languages (English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Bengali are listed), along with voter registration drives at community events and pre-registration information sessions with high school students. There were 4,477,091 active registered voters in the city as of November 1, 2016, with Democrats (3,343,041) outnumbering Republicans (501,976) by almost seven to one.</p> <p>There were also 909,611 registered voters unaffiliated with any party; 123,677 voters registered with the Independence Party; 20,956 with the Conservative Party; and 16,651 with the Working Families Party; along with several thousand more registered with smaller parties.</p> <p>In each election held in 2016, turnout was higher in Manhattan than in the other boroughs. In the June federal primary, Manhattan saw 14% turnout; Brooklyn and the Bronx each saw 5% turnout and Queens saw 4%. Staten Island didn’t have a federal primary in 2016, owing to the fact that neither incumbent Rep. Dan Donovan nor his Democratic challenger faced a primary challenge. Manhattan’s higher turnout for the congressional primary is at least somewhat due to the fact that there was an open seat race: Charles Rangel, the longtime Harlem congressional representative, retired, leading to a crowded, open race for the seat. Over half of primary votes in Manhattan in 2016 were cast in Rangel’s 13th district, now represented by fellow Democrat Adriano Espaillat.</p> <p>However, Manhattan’s turnout was still higher than the other boroughs in the other elections. Manhattan’s turnout in state and local primaries was three points higher than the citywide average, nine points higher in the presidential primaries, and six points higher in the general election.</p> <p>Low voter turnout is nothing new for New York City, or New York State, of course. New York’s legislative districts are severely gerrymandered to the point that most legislative races in the state are noncompetitive. A <a href="https://www.prisonersofthecensus.org/nygerrymander.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">report</a> from the Prison Gerrymandering Project shows that in the Republican-controlled New York State Senate, districts in the city, which are mostly represented by Democrats, are overpopulated and therefore dilute the city’s voice in the Senate, whereas upstate districts more likely to be represented by Republicans are underpopulated and thus have an amplified voice relative to population size. The same is true of the Assembly, except in favor of city Democrats rather than upstate Republicans.</p> <p>Beyond gerrymandering, New York has regressive voting laws. The state does not allow no-excuse early voting, an electoral feature in 38 states, including many with notorious voting laws such as Florida, North Carolina, and Texas. It also doesn’t allow no-excuse absentee voting.</p> <p>The Assembly, in this past legislative session, passed a voting reform package including early voting, automatic voter registration, and electronic poll books, which was endorsed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, who held two telephone town halls on electoral reform, but the package stalled in the Senate, with no action being taken in the body before the legislative session ended last week. Governor Andrew Cuomo, who outlined an electoral reform package in January, did nothing publicly to push the cause thereafter.</p> <p>Although voter apathy, or simply a lack of awareness, could’ve contributed to the extremely low turnout, the city’s primary elections have been criticized as suppressive as well. The state had three separate primary elections in 2016 rather than consolidate the federal and state primaries favored by voting rights advocates. State legislators have debated this issue, with the Assembly voting to consolidate primaries in June while the Senate has pushed an August date.</p> <p>New York also has a long six-month window between the required date to register with a party and the party’s actual primary, though this is only the case for those already registered who seek to enroll in a party or change party identification (newly enrolled voters can register within a few weeks of voting). In the presidential primary, wherein two unconventional outsider candidates, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, drove large numbers of people to the polls who hadn’t voted before, some of whom were registered by not with a major political party, many hopeful voters learned that they couldn’t actually vote because they didn’t declare a party affiliation six months in advance. So-called independents, or “unaffiliated” registered voters, are blocked from voting in party primaries.</p> <p>Francis Barry, the Director of Public Affairs and a former speechwriter for Mayor Michael Bloomberg, <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-05-18/voter-suppression-in-deep-blue-new-york" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">wrote in Bloomberg</a> that New York “is the worst state for independents, bar none.”</p> <p>Voting rights and government reform advocates and many legislators have called for an overhaul of the state’s election law. Most agree that the state should institute early voting, same-day registration, consolidated primaries, automatic registration, and other reforms. Some argue for open primaries where any registered voter could vote in a primary election of their choosing.</p> <p>

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by Ben Brachfeld, Gotham Gazette

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</p>
<p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2017/30833378216_dde865964a_z.jpg" alt="30833378216 dde865964a z" width="640" height="426" /></p> <p>(photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)</p> <hr /> <p>A <a href="http://vote.nyc.ny.us/downloads/pdf/documents/boe/AnnualReports/BOEAnnualReport16.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">recent report</a> by New York City’s Board of Elections details shockingly low voter turnout in the 2016 congressional and state primary elections. The new numbers come amid increased attention to New York’s suppressive voting laws but little action from state lawmakers who could implement reforms like early voting, same-day registration, automatic voter registration, or even consolidation of primaries.</p> <p>Because it was a presidential year, New Yorkers voted in three primaries -- presidential (April), congressional (June) and state (September) -- and the November general election.</p> <p>The BOE report shows middling turnout for the presidential primaries, despite -- or because of -- New York’s strict party registration rules, and somewhat strong turnout for the November general election. The two other primaries show abysmal numbers, however.</p> <p>The November 8 general election, wherein Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump topped the ballot, there was a 62% turnout rate among active eligible voters. Active voters are a smaller pool than eligible voters, which includes unregistered voters, and slightly smaller than if inactive registered voters would be included. The city turnout was slighter higher than the national turnout of 59.7%.</p> <p>Primary elections were a different story entirely: for the presidential primary in April 2016, the city saw a 35% turnout; for the June federal primary, 8%; and for the September state and local primary, 10% turnout.</p> <p>The report, simply titled “Annual Report 2016,” was released on the BOE’s website, although it does not indicate a date of publish and multiple representatives at the BOE could not provide a specific date of its publication. Along with information about the board’s president, Maria Guastella, and its borough commissioners, the report also includes data beyond just 2016 voter turnout.</p> <p>The city Board of Elections has been the focus of criticism for many years, especially of late, for mismanagement or even malice; after a mistaken voter roll purge led to thousands of active voters being removed from the rolls, many votes in the presidential primary were declared invalid, in a situation Attorney General Eric Schneiderman referred to in harsh terms. “Democracy itself is under attack,” he <a href="http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/purge-outdated-voter-rolls-nyc-tried-bad-results/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">said</a> upon joining a lawsuit over the purge.</p> <p>The BOE report on 2016 details actions undertaken by the board to increase turnout and streamline the election process, such as a public education campaign on city elections conducted in five different languages (English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Bengali are listed), along with voter registration drives at community events and pre-registration information sessions with high school students. There were 4,477,091 active registered voters in the city as of November 1, 2016, with Democrats (3,343,041) outnumbering Republicans (501,976) by almost seven to one.</p> <p>There were also 909,611 registered voters unaffiliated with any party; 123,677 voters registered with the Independence Party; 20,956 with the Conservative Party; and 16,651 with the Working Families Party; along with several thousand more registered with smaller parties.</p> <p>In each election held in 2016, turnout was higher in Manhattan than in the other boroughs. In the June federal primary, Manhattan saw 14% turnout; Brooklyn and the Bronx each saw 5% turnout and Queens saw 4%. Staten Island didn’t have a federal primary in 2016, owing to the fact that neither incumbent Rep. Dan Donovan nor his Democratic challenger faced a primary challenge. Manhattan’s higher turnout for the congressional primary is at least somewhat due to the fact that there was an open seat race: Charles Rangel, the longtime Harlem congressional representative, retired, leading to a crowded, open race for the seat. Over half of primary votes in Manhattan in 2016 were cast in Rangel’s 13th district, now represented by fellow Democrat Adriano Espaillat.</p> <p>However, Manhattan’s turnout was still higher than the other boroughs in the other elections. Manhattan’s turnout in state and local primaries was three points higher than the citywide average, nine points higher in the presidential primaries, and six points higher in the general election.</p> <p>Low voter turnout is nothing new for New York City, or New York State, of course. New York’s legislative districts are severely gerrymandered to the point that most legislative races in the state are noncompetitive. A <a href="https://www.prisonersofthecensus.org/nygerrymander.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">report</a> from the Prison Gerrymandering Project shows that in the Republican-controlled New York State Senate, districts in the city, which are mostly represented by Democrats, are overpopulated and therefore dilute the city’s voice in the Senate, whereas upstate districts more likely to be represented by Republicans are underpopulated and thus have an amplified voice relative to population size. The same is true of the Assembly, except in favor of city Democrats rather than upstate Republicans.</p> <p>Beyond gerrymandering, New York has regressive voting laws. The state does not allow no-excuse early voting, an electoral feature in 38 states, including many with notorious voting laws such as Florida, North Carolina, and Texas. It also doesn’t allow no-excuse absentee voting.</p> <p>The Assembly, in this past legislative session, passed a voting reform package including early voting, automatic voter registration, and electronic poll books, which was endorsed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, who held two telephone town halls on electoral reform, but the package stalled in the Senate, with no action being taken in the body before the legislative session ended last week. Governor Andrew Cuomo, who outlined an electoral reform package in January, did nothing publicly to push the cause thereafter.</p> <p>Although voter apathy, or simply a lack of awareness, could’ve contributed to the extremely low turnout, the city’s primary elections have been criticized as suppressive as well. The state had three separate primary elections in 2016 rather than consolidate the federal and state primaries favored by voting rights advocates. State legislators have debated this issue, with the Assembly voting to consolidate primaries in June while the Senate has pushed an August date.</p> <p>New York also has a long six-month window between the required date to register with a party and the party’s actual primary, though this is only the case for those already registered who seek to enroll in a party or change party identification (newly enrolled voters can register within a few weeks of voting). In the presidential primary, wherein two unconventional outsider candidates, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, drove large numbers of people to the polls who hadn’t voted before, some of whom were registered by not with a major political party, many hopeful voters learned that they couldn’t actually vote because they didn’t declare a party affiliation six months in advance. So-called independents, or “unaffiliated” registered voters, are blocked from voting in party primaries.</p> <p>Francis Barry, the Director of Public Affairs and a former speechwriter for Mayor Michael Bloomberg, <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-05-18/voter-suppression-in-deep-blue-new-york" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">wrote in Bloomberg</a> that New York “is the worst state for independents, bar none.”</p> <p>Voting rights and government reform advocates and many legislators have called for an overhaul of the state’s election law. Most agree that the state should institute early voting, same-day registration, consolidated primaries, automatic registration, and other reforms. Some argue for open primaries where any registered voter could vote in a primary election of their choosing.</p> <p>

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by Ben Brachfeld, Gotham Gazette

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Attorney General Unveils Sweeping Voting Reform Package 2017-02-09T04:28:38+00:00 2017-02-09T04:28:38+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=6752:attorney-general-unveils-sweeping-voting-reforms-package Samar Khurshid <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2017/schneiderman.jpg" alt="Schneiderman releases voting reform legislation" width="600" height="450" /></p> <p>Attorney General Schneiderman with voting reform advocates outside Federal Hall (photo: @AGSchneiderman)</p> <hr /> <p>New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman unveiled an extensive voting reform package Wednesday that aims to streamline New York’s voter registration system, boost voter participation and increase voter turnout.</p> <p>Standing with elected officials, good government groups, union members, and voting reform advocates outside Federal Hall in Manhattan, Schneiderman released the legislation, called the <a href="http://links.govdelivery.com/track?type=click&amp;enid=ZWFzPTEmbXNpZD0mYXVpZD0mbWFpbGluZ2lkPTIwMTcwMjA4LjY5NzI2MzQxJm1lc3NhZ2VpZD1NREItUFJELUJVTC0yMDE3MDIwOC42OTcyNjM0MSZkYXRhYmFzZWlkPTEwMDEmc2VyaWFsPTE2OTAxMzU2JmVtYWlsaWQ9cnNpbGJlcnN0ZWluQGdvdGhhbWdhemV0dGUuY29tJnVzZXJpZD1yc2lsYmVyc3RlaW5AZ290aGFtZ2F6ZXR0ZS5jb20mdGFyZ2V0aWQ9JmZsPSZleHRyYT1NdWx0aXZhcmlhdGVJZD0mJiY=&amp;&amp;&amp;101&amp;&amp;&amp;http://nyassembly.gov/leg/?default_fld=&amp;leg_video=&amp;bn=A05312&amp;term=2017&amp;Summary=Y&amp;Actions=Y&amp;Memo=Y&amp;Text=Y" target="_blank">New York Votes Act</a>. The bill contains provisions to update the state’s voting systems by adding early voting, automatic and same-day voter registration, consolidated primaries, shortened party registration deadlines, increased language access at the polls, online absentee ballots, and more. “Any law that makes it easier to vote is a good law; any law that makes it harder to vote is a bad law,” said Schneiderman, in a statement Wednesday. “New York has long been a bastion of democracy, but our state’s current system of registration and voting is an affront to that legacy.”</p> <p>New York State has seen abysmal voter turnout for years. In 2014, the state <a href="http://www.timesunion.com/tuplus-local/article/New-York-s-2014-voter-turnout-49th-best-in-the-US-6146753.php" target="_blank">ranked 49th</a> of 50 in the country, with just 29 percent of eligible voters casting their ballots in the general election. While <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/state/6295-there-is-a-long-list-of-voting-reforms-new-york-can-pass" target="_blank">other states have tweaked their voting laws</a> to encourage participation, voter turnout in New York has only grown worse, with just 19.7 percent of eligible voters casting their ballots in the 2016 presidential primaries.</p> <p>Many of Schneiderman’s proposals grew out of the findings and recommendations from a <a href="http://links.govdelivery.com/track?type=click&amp;enid=ZWFzPTEmbXNpZD0mYXVpZD0mbWFpbGluZ2lkPTIwMTcwMjA4LjY5NzI2MzQxJm1lc3NhZ2VpZD1NREItUFJELUJVTC0yMDE3MDIwOC42OTcyNjM0MSZkYXRhYmFzZWlkPTEwMDEmc2VyaWFsPTE2OTAxMzU2JmVtYWlsaWQ9cnNpbGJlcnN0ZWluQGdvdGhhbWdhemV0dGUuY29tJnVzZXJpZD1yc2lsYmVyc3RlaW5AZ290aGFtZ2F6ZXR0ZS5jb20mdGFyZ2V0aWQ9JmZsPSZleHRyYT1NdWx0aXZhcmlhdGVJZD0mJiY=&amp;&amp;&amp;100&amp;&amp;&amp;https://ag.ny.gov/sites/default/files/2016_statewide_elections_report.pdf" target="_blank">December 2016 report</a> produced by his office on the problems that voters faced during the presidential elections. The attorney general’s office was flooded with thousands of complaints of problems at the polls during April’s primary as well as hundreds during the November general election. These barriers, and the subsequent victory of Donald Trump, a historically unpopular president, have spurred renewed interest from New York’s top elected officials in modernizing the state’s electoral system.</p> <p>New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/city/6629-taking-up-voting-reform-de-blasio-cites-sanders-campaign-as-motivation" target="_blank">announced</a> a fresh push for reform in the weeks leading up to election day. On Wednesday, the mayor praised Schneiderman’s proposal, in a statement saying it would “help bring New York up to speed and ensure New Yorkers statewide aren't turned away from casting their ballots as a result of senseless roadblocks.” Governor Andrew Cuomo has also pushed strongly for voting reform, <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/state/6724-cuomo-embraces-voting-reform-agenda-but-implementation-poses-challenges" target="_blank">making it a key platform</a> in his State of the State agenda this year.</p> <p>Schneiderman’s bill, which encompasses both Cuomo’s and de Blasio’s voting reform proposals, will be sponsored in the state Assembly by Assemblymember Michael Cusick, a Staten Island Democrat who chairs the body’s election law committee. “This legislation, aimed to simplify the voting process and improve voter accessibility, will give citizens a better opportunity to participate in the democratic process by increasing voter participation across New York State,” said Cusick, in a statement.</p> <p>In previous years, similar voting reforms were passed by the Assembly and backed by Senate Democrats, but were ultimately blocked by the GOP Senate Majority. Schneiderman’s sweeping legislation, however, appears to have gained an added push from the Senate’s Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) -- an eight-member body that has formed a ruling coalition with Senate Republicans. The legislation will be sponsored by IDC member Senator David Carlucci, and the body’s seven other members will co-sponsor the bill, IDC member Senator Diane Savino told the <a href="http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2017/02/cusick_schneiderman_author_swe.html" target="_blank">Staten Island Advance</a>.</p> <p>IDC Leader Jeff Klein commended the attorney general’s legislation in a statement, saying, “The Independent Democratic Conference has long been an advocate for making our election process simpler and more accessible for all New Yorkers."</p> <p>Good government groups, many of which were represented at Wednesday’s news conference, applauded Schneiderman’s proposal to modernize the state electoral system. “New York ranks consistently as one of the nation's worst in terms of voter participation, driven by state laws that create obstacles to voting,” said Megan Ahearn, program director for the New York Public Interest Research Group, “Much of the rest of the nation has developed practices that improve voter turnout. The Attorney General's package relies on those best practices.”</p> <p>Barbara Bartoletti, Legislative Director for the League of Women Voters of New York State urged the Governor and the Legislature to act on the reform as soon as possible to ensure that voters do not face barriers in future elections. “Laws that would allow for automatic voter registration, early voting, no-excuse absentee voting, and consolidation of primary elections will empower voters and give greater access to the ballot,” she said.</p> <p>

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by Rachel Silberstein, State government reporter, Gotham Gazette
     

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</p>
<p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2017/schneiderman.jpg" alt="Schneiderman releases voting reform legislation" width="600" height="450" /></p> <p>Attorney General Schneiderman with voting reform advocates outside Federal Hall (photo: @AGSchneiderman)</p> <hr /> <p>New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman unveiled an extensive voting reform package Wednesday that aims to streamline New York’s voter registration system, boost voter participation and increase voter turnout.</p> <p>Standing with elected officials, good government groups, union members, and voting reform advocates outside Federal Hall in Manhattan, Schneiderman released the legislation, called the <a href="http://links.govdelivery.com/track?type=click&amp;enid=ZWFzPTEmbXNpZD0mYXVpZD0mbWFpbGluZ2lkPTIwMTcwMjA4LjY5NzI2MzQxJm1lc3NhZ2VpZD1NREItUFJELUJVTC0yMDE3MDIwOC42OTcyNjM0MSZkYXRhYmFzZWlkPTEwMDEmc2VyaWFsPTE2OTAxMzU2JmVtYWlsaWQ9cnNpbGJlcnN0ZWluQGdvdGhhbWdhemV0dGUuY29tJnVzZXJpZD1yc2lsYmVyc3RlaW5AZ290aGFtZ2F6ZXR0ZS5jb20mdGFyZ2V0aWQ9JmZsPSZleHRyYT1NdWx0aXZhcmlhdGVJZD0mJiY=&amp;&amp;&amp;101&amp;&amp;&amp;http://nyassembly.gov/leg/?default_fld=&amp;leg_video=&amp;bn=A05312&amp;term=2017&amp;Summary=Y&amp;Actions=Y&amp;Memo=Y&amp;Text=Y" target="_blank">New York Votes Act</a>. The bill contains provisions to update the state’s voting systems by adding early voting, automatic and same-day voter registration, consolidated primaries, shortened party registration deadlines, increased language access at the polls, online absentee ballots, and more. “Any law that makes it easier to vote is a good law; any law that makes it harder to vote is a bad law,” said Schneiderman, in a statement Wednesday. “New York has long been a bastion of democracy, but our state’s current system of registration and voting is an affront to that legacy.”</p> <p>New York State has seen abysmal voter turnout for years. In 2014, the state <a href="http://www.timesunion.com/tuplus-local/article/New-York-s-2014-voter-turnout-49th-best-in-the-US-6146753.php" target="_blank">ranked 49th</a> of 50 in the country, with just 29 percent of eligible voters casting their ballots in the general election. While <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/state/6295-there-is-a-long-list-of-voting-reforms-new-york-can-pass" target="_blank">other states have tweaked their voting laws</a> to encourage participation, voter turnout in New York has only grown worse, with just 19.7 percent of eligible voters casting their ballots in the 2016 presidential primaries.</p> <p>Many of Schneiderman’s proposals grew out of the findings and recommendations from a <a href="http://links.govdelivery.com/track?type=click&amp;enid=ZWFzPTEmbXNpZD0mYXVpZD0mbWFpbGluZ2lkPTIwMTcwMjA4LjY5NzI2MzQxJm1lc3NhZ2VpZD1NREItUFJELUJVTC0yMDE3MDIwOC42OTcyNjM0MSZkYXRhYmFzZWlkPTEwMDEmc2VyaWFsPTE2OTAxMzU2JmVtYWlsaWQ9cnNpbGJlcnN0ZWluQGdvdGhhbWdhemV0dGUuY29tJnVzZXJpZD1yc2lsYmVyc3RlaW5AZ290aGFtZ2F6ZXR0ZS5jb20mdGFyZ2V0aWQ9JmZsPSZleHRyYT1NdWx0aXZhcmlhdGVJZD0mJiY=&amp;&amp;&amp;100&amp;&amp;&amp;https://ag.ny.gov/sites/default/files/2016_statewide_elections_report.pdf" target="_blank">December 2016 report</a> produced by his office on the problems that voters faced during the presidential elections. The attorney general’s office was flooded with thousands of complaints of problems at the polls during April’s primary as well as hundreds during the November general election. These barriers, and the subsequent victory of Donald Trump, a historically unpopular president, have spurred renewed interest from New York’s top elected officials in modernizing the state’s electoral system.</p> <p>New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/city/6629-taking-up-voting-reform-de-blasio-cites-sanders-campaign-as-motivation" target="_blank">announced</a> a fresh push for reform in the weeks leading up to election day. On Wednesday, the mayor praised Schneiderman’s proposal, in a statement saying it would “help bring New York up to speed and ensure New Yorkers statewide aren't turned away from casting their ballots as a result of senseless roadblocks.” Governor Andrew Cuomo has also pushed strongly for voting reform, <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/state/6724-cuomo-embraces-voting-reform-agenda-but-implementation-poses-challenges" target="_blank">making it a key platform</a> in his State of the State agenda this year.</p> <p>Schneiderman’s bill, which encompasses both Cuomo’s and de Blasio’s voting reform proposals, will be sponsored in the state Assembly by Assemblymember Michael Cusick, a Staten Island Democrat who chairs the body’s election law committee. “This legislation, aimed to simplify the voting process and improve voter accessibility, will give citizens a better opportunity to participate in the democratic process by increasing voter participation across New York State,” said Cusick, in a statement.</p> <p>In previous years, similar voting reforms were passed by the Assembly and backed by Senate Democrats, but were ultimately blocked by the GOP Senate Majority. Schneiderman’s sweeping legislation, however, appears to have gained an added push from the Senate’s Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) -- an eight-member body that has formed a ruling coalition with Senate Republicans. The legislation will be sponsored by IDC member Senator David Carlucci, and the body’s seven other members will co-sponsor the bill, IDC member Senator Diane Savino told the <a href="http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2017/02/cusick_schneiderman_author_swe.html" target="_blank">Staten Island Advance</a>.</p> <p>IDC Leader Jeff Klein commended the attorney general’s legislation in a statement, saying, “The Independent Democratic Conference has long been an advocate for making our election process simpler and more accessible for all New Yorkers."</p> <p>Good government groups, many of which were represented at Wednesday’s news conference, applauded Schneiderman’s proposal to modernize the state electoral system. “New York ranks consistently as one of the nation's worst in terms of voter participation, driven by state laws that create obstacles to voting,” said Megan Ahearn, program director for the New York Public Interest Research Group, “Much of the rest of the nation has developed practices that improve voter turnout. The Attorney General's package relies on those best practices.”</p> <p>Barbara Bartoletti, Legislative Director for the League of Women Voters of New York State urged the Governor and the Legislature to act on the reform as soon as possible to ensure that voters do not face barriers in future elections. “Laws that would allow for automatic voter registration, early voting, no-excuse absentee voting, and consolidation of primary elections will empower voters and give greater access to the ballot,” she said.</p> <p>

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by Rachel Silberstein, State government reporter, Gotham Gazette
     

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</p>
How New York Voted: 10 Key Takeaways 2016-11-15T05:00:00+00:00 2016-11-15T05:00:00+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=6627:how-new-york-voted-10-key-takeaways Ben Max <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/30833380106_3027b80b4d_z.jpg" width="600" height="399" alt="voting nyc" /></p> <p>Voting (photo:&nbsp;Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)</p> <hr /> <p>A week after Election Day the votes are still being counted, but we know a lot about what happened nationally and here in New York. While the Empire State went decidedly for Hillary Clinton for President, the margin was mostly due to New York City’s overwhelming support for the Democratic nominee over now President-elect Donald Trump. And as we dissect the numbers and watch as Trump’s transition operation unfolds, New Yorkers are watching Long Island, where two state Senate races have yet to be called and could determine party control of the chamber -- which is Republicans’ last statewide stronghold.</p> <p>There’s much we do know about how New York voted in 2016, and a few things we don’t. An initial look inside the numbers, based on 99% of the vote <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/elections/results/new-york" target="_blank">being tallied</a> in New York as of Tuesday, November 15 (the city Board of Elections is due to certify results Nov. 29):</p> <p>1. About 7 million people across New York State cast ballots in the presidential race:</p> <ul> <li>Democrat Hillary Clinton won about 58.8% of the vote, with 4.1 million votes.</li> <li>Republican Donald Trump 37.5%, with 2.6 million votes</li> <li>Libertarian Gary Johnson 2.3%, with about 162,000 votes</li> <li>Green Party’s Jill Stein 1.4%, with about 100,000 votes</li> </ul> <p>2. Turnout in New York State was about 56.4% of registered voters, of which there are about 12.5 million.</p> <p>3. Turnout in New York City was about 51% of registered voters, of which there are about 4.9 million.</p> <p>4. In New York City, Clinton won four of the five New York City boroughs, losing only Staten Island to Trump.</p> <ul> <li>In Brooklyn, Clinton won 595,000 votes to Trump’s 134,000.</li> <li>In the Bronx, Clinton won 318,000 votes to Trump’s 34,000.</li> <li>In Manhattan, Clinton won 516,000 votes to Trump’s 59,000.</li> <li>In Queens, Clinton won 473,000 votes to Trump’s 139,000.</li> <li>On Staten Island, Trump won 96,000 votes to Clinton’s 68,000.</li> </ul> <p>That’s a total New York City tally of about 1.97 million votes for Clinton and 462,000 votes for Trump.</p> <p>5. Across the state, there are 62 counties: Trump won 46, including Staten Island (Richmond County); Clinton won 16, including four in New York City.</p> <p>Clinton’s other wins included counties of major population centers: Albany, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and suburbs bordering the city: Westchester, Nassau, and Rockland. She also appears to have won Clinton County, along the state’s northern border, though the margin stands at under 300 votes. Trump won dozens of more rural counties and some more suburban, like Suffolk, Orange, and Putnam.</p> <p>6. According to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pressconnects.com/story/news/local/new-york/2016/11/11/nys-election-map-becomes-familiar/93664010/" target="_blank">a Press &amp; Sun Bulletin analysis</a>, outside of New York City, the margin between Clinton and Trump was virtually nonexistent, with Clinton leading by about 760 votes in initial tallies.</p> <p>7. The balance of power in the New York State Senate is still unclear, in part because there are two races still too close to call, both on Long Island where incumbent Republicans are attempting to hold onto their seats.</p> <ul> <li>Senate District 5: Incumbent Republican Sen. Carl Marcellino leads Democrat James Gaughran by 2,425 votes as of 5 p.m. on November 14. Marcellino has 50.9% while Gaughran has 49.1%.</li> <li>Senate District 8: Democrat John Brooks leads incumbent Republican Sen. Michael Venditto by 33 votes as of 5 p.m. on November 14. Both candidates have 50% of the vote.</li> </ul> <p>Republicans have held a slight edge in the 63-seat chamber in part because Brooklyn Senator Simcha Felder, elected as a Democrat, caucuses with the GOP. The margin is razor thin, and the mainline party with the most members when the two Long Island seats are determined will be in better position to negotiate a power-sharing deal with the seven-member Independent Democratic Conference. Stay tuned!</p> <p>8. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Charles Schumer won re-election with 70% of the vote across the state, defeating Republican challenger Wendy Long. Schumer will be minority leader in the Senate.</p> <p>9. The 27-member U.S. House delegation from New York will consist of 18 Democrats and 9 Republicans.</p> <p>10. The State Assembly continues to be heavily Democratic. While there are still a few seats where the vote is too close to call, the Democrats will hold about 107 of the 150 seats.</p> <p>

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by Ben Max, Gotham Gazette
     

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<p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/30833380106_3027b80b4d_z.jpg" width="600" height="399" alt="voting nyc" /></p> <p>Voting (photo:&nbsp;Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)</p> <hr /> <p>A week after Election Day the votes are still being counted, but we know a lot about what happened nationally and here in New York. While the Empire State went decidedly for Hillary Clinton for President, the margin was mostly due to New York City’s overwhelming support for the Democratic nominee over now President-elect Donald Trump. And as we dissect the numbers and watch as Trump’s transition operation unfolds, New Yorkers are watching Long Island, where two state Senate races have yet to be called and could determine party control of the chamber -- which is Republicans’ last statewide stronghold.</p> <p>There’s much we do know about how New York voted in 2016, and a few things we don’t. An initial look inside the numbers, based on 99% of the vote <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/elections/results/new-york" target="_blank">being tallied</a> in New York as of Tuesday, November 15 (the city Board of Elections is due to certify results Nov. 29):</p> <p>1. About 7 million people across New York State cast ballots in the presidential race:</p> <ul> <li>Democrat Hillary Clinton won about 58.8% of the vote, with 4.1 million votes.</li> <li>Republican Donald Trump 37.5%, with 2.6 million votes</li> <li>Libertarian Gary Johnson 2.3%, with about 162,000 votes</li> <li>Green Party’s Jill Stein 1.4%, with about 100,000 votes</li> </ul> <p>2. Turnout in New York State was about 56.4% of registered voters, of which there are about 12.5 million.</p> <p>3. Turnout in New York City was about 51% of registered voters, of which there are about 4.9 million.</p> <p>4. In New York City, Clinton won four of the five New York City boroughs, losing only Staten Island to Trump.</p> <ul> <li>In Brooklyn, Clinton won 595,000 votes to Trump’s 134,000.</li> <li>In the Bronx, Clinton won 318,000 votes to Trump’s 34,000.</li> <li>In Manhattan, Clinton won 516,000 votes to Trump’s 59,000.</li> <li>In Queens, Clinton won 473,000 votes to Trump’s 139,000.</li> <li>On Staten Island, Trump won 96,000 votes to Clinton’s 68,000.</li> </ul> <p>That’s a total New York City tally of about 1.97 million votes for Clinton and 462,000 votes for Trump.</p> <p>5. Across the state, there are 62 counties: Trump won 46, including Staten Island (Richmond County); Clinton won 16, including four in New York City.</p> <p>Clinton’s other wins included counties of major population centers: Albany, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and suburbs bordering the city: Westchester, Nassau, and Rockland. She also appears to have won Clinton County, along the state’s northern border, though the margin stands at under 300 votes. Trump won dozens of more rural counties and some more suburban, like Suffolk, Orange, and Putnam.</p> <p>6. According to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pressconnects.com/story/news/local/new-york/2016/11/11/nys-election-map-becomes-familiar/93664010/" target="_blank">a Press &amp; Sun Bulletin analysis</a>, outside of New York City, the margin between Clinton and Trump was virtually nonexistent, with Clinton leading by about 760 votes in initial tallies.</p> <p>7. The balance of power in the New York State Senate is still unclear, in part because there are two races still too close to call, both on Long Island where incumbent Republicans are attempting to hold onto their seats.</p> <ul> <li>Senate District 5: Incumbent Republican Sen. Carl Marcellino leads Democrat James Gaughran by 2,425 votes as of 5 p.m. on November 14. Marcellino has 50.9% while Gaughran has 49.1%.</li> <li>Senate District 8: Democrat John Brooks leads incumbent Republican Sen. Michael Venditto by 33 votes as of 5 p.m. on November 14. Both candidates have 50% of the vote.</li> </ul> <p>Republicans have held a slight edge in the 63-seat chamber in part because Brooklyn Senator Simcha Felder, elected as a Democrat, caucuses with the GOP. The margin is razor thin, and the mainline party with the most members when the two Long Island seats are determined will be in better position to negotiate a power-sharing deal with the seven-member Independent Democratic Conference. Stay tuned!</p> <p>8. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Charles Schumer won re-election with 70% of the vote across the state, defeating Republican challenger Wendy Long. Schumer will be minority leader in the Senate.</p> <p>9. The 27-member U.S. House delegation from New York will consist of 18 Democrats and 9 Republicans.</p> <p>10. The State Assembly continues to be heavily Democratic. While there are still a few seats where the vote is too close to call, the Democrats will hold about 107 of the 150 seats.</p> <p>

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by Ben Max, Gotham Gazette
     

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5 Things to Watch on Election Day in New York 2016-11-07T05:00:00+00:00 2016-11-07T05:00:00+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=6614:5-things-to-watch-on-election-day-in-new-york Ben Max <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2016/26645732423_ede8d49cc5_z.jpg" alt="statue of liberty water" width="600" height="400" /></p> <p dir="ltr">(photo: Mayor's Office on Flickr)</p> <hr /> <p dir="ltr">Either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States. When we know which of the two New Yorkers will be number 45 depends on how the vote unfolds. Both candidates will be in New York City on election night: Clinton holding her event at the Javits Center, Trump holding his at the New York Hilton.</p> <p>The potential historic significance of the Presidential vote should not be overlooked: Hillary Clinton could become the first woman elected President of the United States. For his part, Trump is attempting to complete an almost unfathomable outsider run through to the White House. A political novice best known as a celebrity television personality and real estate mogul, Trump defeated a variety of more traditionally qualified opponents in the Republican primary, has broken many norms of American democratic politics, and run a type of campaign never before seen in this country.</p> <p dir="ltr">Though there has been some fluctuation, Clinton has maintained a solid lead in the polls, both nationally and in key swing states that will help determine the all-important Electoral College results. Still, this has been an election like no other, and no one is sure what will happen Tuesday.</p> <p dir="ltr">But beyond the winner of the Presidential race, there are several key things to watch for on Election Day 2016 in New York:&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>1. CONGRESSIONAL CONTROL</strong><br />Along with the Presidential race, there are key contests -- some in New York -- to see which party controls the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, both of which currently have Republican majorities.</p> <p dir="ltr">There is a far slimmer margin in the Senate (four seats) and it’s basically a toss-up as to whether Democrats will swing enough seats to take a majority. If they are able to, New York Senator Charles Schumer is set to become Majority Leader. Schumer is up for re-election this year and being challenged by Republican Wendy Long. He is expected to cruise to victory.</p> <p dir="ltr">Meanwhile, there are several House seats in New York that Republicans are trying to keep in order to maintain their healthy majority in the lower house. One of the most hotly-contested races in New York and the country is in New York’s 19th Congressional District, where Republican John Faso and Democrat Zephyr Teachout vie to replace retiring Rep. Chris Gibson, a Republican. The race, like others, but to a larger degree, has seen a huge influx of money from special interests and the national parties.</p> <p dir="ltr">The results of the Presidential election and party control in Congress will mean a great deal for the country, <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/state/6612-on-election-day-federal-policy-funding-stakes-high-for-new-york-city" target="_blank">and for New York City</a> and State, especially <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/state/6612-on-election-day-federal-policy-funding-stakes-high-for-new-york-city" target="_blank">when it comes to federal policy and funding decisions</a> -- particularly regarding infrastructure, immigration, health care, and more.&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>2. STATE SENATE CONTROL</strong><br />Also in New York, all the seats of the state Legislature are on the ballot: 63 Senate seats, 150 Assembly seats. Control of the state Senate, Republicans’ last statewide stronghold, is on the line.</p> <p dir="ltr">The complicated state Senate math includes about two dozen members of each mainline party, a Democrat who caucuses with Republicans, and a caucus of breakaway Democrats that is set to grow from five to seven. That breakaway group, the Independent Democratic Conference, or IDC, will likely be again able to dictate terms of a coalition power-sharing agreement with one of the mainline conferences. The IDC has been aligned with Republicans for the past several years, but once the Election Day dust clears with a handful of swing seats decided, negotiations will again ramp up. Like with swing seats for the House, <a href="http://www.politico.com/states/new-york/albany/story/2016/11/a-guide-to-the-2016-new-york-elections-107140" target="_blank">the state Senate variables</a> on are Long Island and in the Hudson Valley, as well as a couple of upstate seats.&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>3. TURNOUT</strong><br />While across the country more than 43 million people have already voted, according to NBC News analysis of early voting data, another 85 million or so will vote on Election Day.</p> <p dir="ltr">In 2012, about 129 million total votes <a href="http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/compare.php?type=national&amp;year=2016&amp;f=0&amp;off=0&amp;elect=0" target="_blank">were cast</a> in the presidential election. It was 131 million in 2008, when Barack Obama was first elected.</p> <p dir="ltr">In New York, there were 7.1 million votes cast in the 2012 presidential election, 2.5 million of which were cast in New York City. Across the state, Obama received about 4.5 million votes to Mitt Romney’s 2.5 million, sending the state’s 29 electoral votes for Obama (270 electoral votes are required to win; Obama won 332). In New York City, Obama received about 1.95 million votes to Romney’s 400,000.</p> <p dir="ltr">As of November 1, 2016, the state Board of Elections <a href="http://www.elections.ny.gov/NYSBOE/enrollment/county/county_nov16.pdf" target="_blank">reports</a> that there are 11.5 million registered active voters in New York; 4.5 million of them in New York City. There are 5.7 million active registered Democrats in the state, 2.7 million Republicans, 2.5 million unaffiliated (or "independent") voters, and about 700,000 other active registered voters affiliated with other parties.</p> <p dir="ltr">Hillary Clinton, a Democrat like Obama, is expected to easily win the state, and overwhelmingly win New York City. How the vote will shake out across the country is less clear in some places, especially this year’s swing states like Pennsylvania, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, New Hampshire, and a few others. Most projections favor Clinton to win the popular and, more importantly, Electoral College. But, turnout is key, and it is not clear whether Clinton’s ground game and candidacy have whipped up the participation she will need in those key states, or whether Trump’s candidacy has activated enough independents, conservatives, and previously inactive voters to take him over the top.</p> <p dir="ltr">There’s little mystery in New York, though it will be interesting to see what the margin outside New York City looks like and whether there is significant ticket-splitting by Republicans who don’t vote for Trump but do vote for their local representatives in the House or state Legislature.&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>4. ELECTION ADMINISTRATION &amp; SECURITY</strong><br />Problems with the New York City Board of Elections are rampant and well-documented. City Comptroller Scott Stringer is auditing the agency, which is actually governed by state law, something Mayor Bill de Blasio has been regularly lamenting over the past year, especially when the BOE improperly removed tens of thousands of Brooklyn voters from the rolls.</p> <p dir="ltr">De Blasio said last week that he has full faith in the "integrity" of the process and results, but not in the administration or "efficiency" of the voting process across the city’s 1,205 polling places and at BOE headquarters.</p> <p dir="ltr">The federal Justice Department announced Monday “that its Civil Rights Division plans to deploy more than 500 personnel to 67 jurisdictions in 28 states for the Nov. 8, 2016, general election.” Included among those are both Queens County and Kings County in New York City.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Although state and local governments have primary responsibility for administering elections, the Civil Rights Division is charged with enforcing the federal voting rights laws that protect the rights of all citizens to access the ballot on Election Day,” reads <a href="https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-monitor-polls-28-states-election-day" target="_blank">the DOJ announcement</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">Along with general BOE incompetence, there are also concerns about voter intimidation as this fraught, violent presidential campaign comes toward an end. And, there are concerns about the possibility of a terror or cyber attack. On Monday, de Blasio and NYPD officials, including Commissioner James O’Neill, held a press briefing to discuss security measures. The NYPD is on high alert given Election Day and the fact that both Clinton and Trump will be in Manhattan Tuesday evening.</p> <p dir="ltr">There will be more than 5,000 NYPD officers on patrol Tuesday.</p> <p dir="ltr">“[W]e know that the eyes of the world will be on New York City,” de Blasio said Monday, about Election Day. “We have an obligation, not only to the people of this city, but to this country to make sure that tomorrow, all through the day, and particularly tomorrow night, goes smoothly and goes well. So we have extraordinary resources in place to do that and we’ll be working very closely with our federal partners.”</p> <p>As for a cyber threat, NYPD Deputy Commissioner John Miller said Monday, "Working with DoITT – the City’s IT overarching agency – as well as with the FBI and their cyber team, as well as with the NYPD and our cyber people, we have done a survey of the key systems that would affect the City’s ability to respond in emergency [inaudible], as well as systems that have to do with moving information around the election. And we’re very confident that we’re in a good position to declare those systems operating properly, free of any intrusions, and our ability to monitor those things."</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>5. IS THE END THE END?</strong><br />Even after all of his shocking statements and maneuvers, Donald Trump sent shockwaves throughout the country, even the world, when <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/10/20/donald-trumps-refusal-to-say-hell-accept-election-results-isnt-just-shocking-its-also-a-total-flip-flop/" target="_blank">he said</a> at the third Presidential debate that he may not accept the results of the election. “I will look at it at the time...I’ll keep you in suspense,” Trump told moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News and all those watching, many with mouth agape.&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr">And since, Trump has increased his claims of a “rigged” election, casting doubt about how he might react if he is not declared the winner on Tuesday evening. Trump has talked about voter fraud, which studies have shown to be virtually nonexistent, and his belief that the media has been in out to get him. If Trump does lose and even if he does decide not to openly challenge the validity of the results, no one knows what his “concession” speech might sound like.&nbsp;</p> <p>If Trump shocks the world, it is all-but-certain that Clinton would concede without calling into question the democratic process, local vote-counters, or any other factors. And, there is of course the off chance of a repeat of the 2000 election between Al Gore and George W. Bush, where a Florida recount was started after there was no clear winner on Election Night, though polls have not indicated that the results have much chance of being that close.</p> <p>

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by Ben Max, Gotham Gazette
     

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<p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2016/26645732423_ede8d49cc5_z.jpg" alt="statue of liberty water" width="600" height="400" /></p> <p dir="ltr">(photo: Mayor's Office on Flickr)</p> <hr /> <p dir="ltr">Either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States. When we know which of the two New Yorkers will be number 45 depends on how the vote unfolds. Both candidates will be in New York City on election night: Clinton holding her event at the Javits Center, Trump holding his at the New York Hilton.</p> <p>The potential historic significance of the Presidential vote should not be overlooked: Hillary Clinton could become the first woman elected President of the United States. For his part, Trump is attempting to complete an almost unfathomable outsider run through to the White House. A political novice best known as a celebrity television personality and real estate mogul, Trump defeated a variety of more traditionally qualified opponents in the Republican primary, has broken many norms of American democratic politics, and run a type of campaign never before seen in this country.</p> <p dir="ltr">Though there has been some fluctuation, Clinton has maintained a solid lead in the polls, both nationally and in key swing states that will help determine the all-important Electoral College results. Still, this has been an election like no other, and no one is sure what will happen Tuesday.</p> <p dir="ltr">But beyond the winner of the Presidential race, there are several key things to watch for on Election Day 2016 in New York:&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>1. CONGRESSIONAL CONTROL</strong><br />Along with the Presidential race, there are key contests -- some in New York -- to see which party controls the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, both of which currently have Republican majorities.</p> <p dir="ltr">There is a far slimmer margin in the Senate (four seats) and it’s basically a toss-up as to whether Democrats will swing enough seats to take a majority. If they are able to, New York Senator Charles Schumer is set to become Majority Leader. Schumer is up for re-election this year and being challenged by Republican Wendy Long. He is expected to cruise to victory.</p> <p dir="ltr">Meanwhile, there are several House seats in New York that Republicans are trying to keep in order to maintain their healthy majority in the lower house. One of the most hotly-contested races in New York and the country is in New York’s 19th Congressional District, where Republican John Faso and Democrat Zephyr Teachout vie to replace retiring Rep. Chris Gibson, a Republican. The race, like others, but to a larger degree, has seen a huge influx of money from special interests and the national parties.</p> <p dir="ltr">The results of the Presidential election and party control in Congress will mean a great deal for the country, <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/state/6612-on-election-day-federal-policy-funding-stakes-high-for-new-york-city" target="_blank">and for New York City</a> and State, especially <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/state/6612-on-election-day-federal-policy-funding-stakes-high-for-new-york-city" target="_blank">when it comes to federal policy and funding decisions</a> -- particularly regarding infrastructure, immigration, health care, and more.&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>2. STATE SENATE CONTROL</strong><br />Also in New York, all the seats of the state Legislature are on the ballot: 63 Senate seats, 150 Assembly seats. Control of the state Senate, Republicans’ last statewide stronghold, is on the line.</p> <p dir="ltr">The complicated state Senate math includes about two dozen members of each mainline party, a Democrat who caucuses with Republicans, and a caucus of breakaway Democrats that is set to grow from five to seven. That breakaway group, the Independent Democratic Conference, or IDC, will likely be again able to dictate terms of a coalition power-sharing agreement with one of the mainline conferences. The IDC has been aligned with Republicans for the past several years, but once the Election Day dust clears with a handful of swing seats decided, negotiations will again ramp up. Like with swing seats for the House, <a href="http://www.politico.com/states/new-york/albany/story/2016/11/a-guide-to-the-2016-new-york-elections-107140" target="_blank">the state Senate variables</a> on are Long Island and in the Hudson Valley, as well as a couple of upstate seats.&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>3. TURNOUT</strong><br />While across the country more than 43 million people have already voted, according to NBC News analysis of early voting data, another 85 million or so will vote on Election Day.</p> <p dir="ltr">In 2012, about 129 million total votes <a href="http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/compare.php?type=national&amp;year=2016&amp;f=0&amp;off=0&amp;elect=0" target="_blank">were cast</a> in the presidential election. It was 131 million in 2008, when Barack Obama was first elected.</p> <p dir="ltr">In New York, there were 7.1 million votes cast in the 2012 presidential election, 2.5 million of which were cast in New York City. Across the state, Obama received about 4.5 million votes to Mitt Romney’s 2.5 million, sending the state’s 29 electoral votes for Obama (270 electoral votes are required to win; Obama won 332). In New York City, Obama received about 1.95 million votes to Romney’s 400,000.</p> <p dir="ltr">As of November 1, 2016, the state Board of Elections <a href="http://www.elections.ny.gov/NYSBOE/enrollment/county/county_nov16.pdf" target="_blank">reports</a> that there are 11.5 million registered active voters in New York; 4.5 million of them in New York City. There are 5.7 million active registered Democrats in the state, 2.7 million Republicans, 2.5 million unaffiliated (or "independent") voters, and about 700,000 other active registered voters affiliated with other parties.</p> <p dir="ltr">Hillary Clinton, a Democrat like Obama, is expected to easily win the state, and overwhelmingly win New York City. How the vote will shake out across the country is less clear in some places, especially this year’s swing states like Pennsylvania, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, New Hampshire, and a few others. Most projections favor Clinton to win the popular and, more importantly, Electoral College. But, turnout is key, and it is not clear whether Clinton’s ground game and candidacy have whipped up the participation she will need in those key states, or whether Trump’s candidacy has activated enough independents, conservatives, and previously inactive voters to take him over the top.</p> <p dir="ltr">There’s little mystery in New York, though it will be interesting to see what the margin outside New York City looks like and whether there is significant ticket-splitting by Republicans who don’t vote for Trump but do vote for their local representatives in the House or state Legislature.&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>4. ELECTION ADMINISTRATION &amp; SECURITY</strong><br />Problems with the New York City Board of Elections are rampant and well-documented. City Comptroller Scott Stringer is auditing the agency, which is actually governed by state law, something Mayor Bill de Blasio has been regularly lamenting over the past year, especially when the BOE improperly removed tens of thousands of Brooklyn voters from the rolls.</p> <p dir="ltr">De Blasio said last week that he has full faith in the "integrity" of the process and results, but not in the administration or "efficiency" of the voting process across the city’s 1,205 polling places and at BOE headquarters.</p> <p dir="ltr">The federal Justice Department announced Monday “that its Civil Rights Division plans to deploy more than 500 personnel to 67 jurisdictions in 28 states for the Nov. 8, 2016, general election.” Included among those are both Queens County and Kings County in New York City.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Although state and local governments have primary responsibility for administering elections, the Civil Rights Division is charged with enforcing the federal voting rights laws that protect the rights of all citizens to access the ballot on Election Day,” reads <a href="https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-monitor-polls-28-states-election-day" target="_blank">the DOJ announcement</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">Along with general BOE incompetence, there are also concerns about voter intimidation as this fraught, violent presidential campaign comes toward an end. And, there are concerns about the possibility of a terror or cyber attack. On Monday, de Blasio and NYPD officials, including Commissioner James O’Neill, held a press briefing to discuss security measures. The NYPD is on high alert given Election Day and the fact that both Clinton and Trump will be in Manhattan Tuesday evening.</p> <p dir="ltr">There will be more than 5,000 NYPD officers on patrol Tuesday.</p> <p dir="ltr">“[W]e know that the eyes of the world will be on New York City,” de Blasio said Monday, about Election Day. “We have an obligation, not only to the people of this city, but to this country to make sure that tomorrow, all through the day, and particularly tomorrow night, goes smoothly and goes well. So we have extraordinary resources in place to do that and we’ll be working very closely with our federal partners.”</p> <p>As for a cyber threat, NYPD Deputy Commissioner John Miller said Monday, "Working with DoITT – the City’s IT overarching agency – as well as with the FBI and their cyber team, as well as with the NYPD and our cyber people, we have done a survey of the key systems that would affect the City’s ability to respond in emergency [inaudible], as well as systems that have to do with moving information around the election. And we’re very confident that we’re in a good position to declare those systems operating properly, free of any intrusions, and our ability to monitor those things."</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>5. IS THE END THE END?</strong><br />Even after all of his shocking statements and maneuvers, Donald Trump sent shockwaves throughout the country, even the world, when <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/10/20/donald-trumps-refusal-to-say-hell-accept-election-results-isnt-just-shocking-its-also-a-total-flip-flop/" target="_blank">he said</a> at the third Presidential debate that he may not accept the results of the election. “I will look at it at the time...I’ll keep you in suspense,” Trump told moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News and all those watching, many with mouth agape.&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr">And since, Trump has increased his claims of a “rigged” election, casting doubt about how he might react if he is not declared the winner on Tuesday evening. Trump has talked about voter fraud, which studies have shown to be virtually nonexistent, and his belief that the media has been in out to get him. If Trump does lose and even if he does decide not to openly challenge the validity of the results, no one knows what his “concession” speech might sound like.&nbsp;</p> <p>If Trump shocks the world, it is all-but-certain that Clinton would concede without calling into question the democratic process, local vote-counters, or any other factors. And, there is of course the off chance of a repeat of the 2000 election between Al Gore and George W. Bush, where a Florida recount was started after there was no clear winner on Election Night, though polls have not indicated that the results have much chance of being that close.</p> <p>

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by Ben Max, Gotham Gazette
     

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</p>
‘Voters of New York’ Adds Human Touch to Civic Outreach Efforts 2016-10-20T04:00:00+00:00 2016-10-20T04:00:00+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=6581:voters-of-new-york-adds-human-touch-to-civic-outreach-efforts Ben Max <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2016/voters_of_new_york.png" alt="voters of new york" width="600" height="439" /></p> <p dir="ltr">(photo: Voters of New York on Instagram)</p> <hr /> <p dir="ltr">On October 14, the deadline for online voter registration in New York, NYC Votes announced the launch of a new project, “Voters of New York,” “which highlights stories from everyday New Yorkers sharing their personal thoughts about voting and why they plan to vote in this election.” An ongoing series of portraits of New Yorkers with their first-person explanations, Voters of New York is meant to spur civic engagement and boost voter turnout.</p> <p dir="ltr">NYC Votes is the voter engagement arm of the New York City Campaign Finance Board (CFB). Its work includes helping people to register to vote, educating New Yorkers about elections, candidates, and civic life; and encouraging them to get to the polls.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We were inspired by the “Humans of New York” portrait series to provide a platform where New Yorkers can share their feelings and stories about voting. We hope that their words will inspire more New Yorkers to take part in the election on November 8,” said CFB’s Public Relations Officer Katrina Shakarian.</p> <p dir="ltr">With Election Day less than three weeks away, efforts to increase New York’s dismal voting rates are in full swing, with political parties, advocacy groups, and others trying to encourage their members to cast a ballot. The recent state legislative primaries, held September 13, <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/state/6557-another-shockingly-low-turnout-election" target="_blank">saw very low voter turnout</a>, though it was fairly typical for New York in such party primaries. General elections, especially for President, typically bring out more voters, and that is certain to be the case again this year. How many voters is to be seen, but NYC Votes hopes that Voters of New York will contribute to an uptick.</p> <p dir="ltr">According to the <a href="http://vote.nyc.ny.us/downloads/pdf/documents/boe/AnnualReports/BOEAnnualReport12.pdf">Board of Elections Annual Report 2012</a>, in that year’s presidential election, 58% of registered New York City voters cast ballots. In the 2013 New York City mayoral election, turnout was just 26%. Voter turnout is typically higher for presidential elections than any others.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Asking a voter on the streets of New York the simple question, ‘Why is voting important to you?’ opens up so many different stories and opinions,” said Jessica Su, a high school student who interned at CFB and collected the interviews, writing in the program’s <a href="http://www.nyccfb.info/media/blog/new-yorkers-share-their-thoughts-democracy-new-cfb-project">blog</a>. “My favorite moment from the Voters of New York project was attending a naturalization ceremony and seeing so many joy-filled new citizens celebrating their citizenship. Getting to talk to them and see the enthusiasm they have for their new life as citizens is something I will never forget,” Su added.</p> <p dir="ltr">The testimonies of the interviewees, which are anonymous, are posted on different social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and <a href="https://www.instagram.com/votersofnewyork/">Instagram</a>, all using the hashtag <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23votersofnewyork&amp;src=typd" target="_blank">#votersofnewyork</a>. The interviewee’s picture is featured each time, all wearing a sticker that says “I Registered to Vote.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The testimonies showcase people who appear to see voting as not only a right, but a responsibility: “I believe in electing people that are going to fight for our communities. If we don’t vote then we can’t complain. We can’t complain, we have to step up,” says one.</p> <p dir="ltr">A missing sense of responsibility is among a variety of reasons that many New Yorkers do not vote. New York is also known to have antiquated voter registration and voting laws, something some public officials have been fighting to change, but thus far without luck in Albany, the state capital. Right before this year’s deadline to register to vote in the November elections, Mayor Bill de Blasio helped register a few voters in Brooklyn and then held a press conference calling on state lawmakers to pass a series of reforms like same-day voter registration and a period of early voting.</p> <p dir="ltr">Just nine days before the registration deadline Public Advocate Letitia James and a variety of other officials and organizations held a rally at City Hall to push for emergency action by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to help clear a massive citizenship application backlog. Nearly 60,000 applications were still pending in the New York City area before the voter registration deadline.</p> <p dir="ltr">“This year especially we have a presidential election that will change the course of history. So many of these immigrants are soon-to-be citizens, some of them most impacted by this election,” James said during the rally. Extended voter registration at the Board of Elections is available until October 29 for those who became naturalized citizens after the initial deadline on October 14.</p> <p>In efforts to raise awareness on the importance of voting, another program has also sought to gain more voters. Student Voter Registration Day (SVRD), a one-day program, visited 125 New York City high schools on October 6, with the goal of registering 10,000 eligible students as new voters. To make sure these newly registered voters actually use their voice, NYC Votes recruits volunteers for their Get Out The Vote campaign to call new registered voters before Election Day encouraging them to to vote.</p> <p>***<br />by Milka Nissinen for Gotham Gazette<br /><a href="https://twitter.com/GothamGazette" target="_blank">@GothamGazette</a></p> <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2016/voters_of_new_york.png" alt="voters of new york" width="600" height="439" /></p> <p dir="ltr">(photo: Voters of New York on Instagram)</p> <hr /> <p dir="ltr">On October 14, the deadline for online voter registration in New York, NYC Votes announced the launch of a new project, “Voters of New York,” “which highlights stories from everyday New Yorkers sharing their personal thoughts about voting and why they plan to vote in this election.” An ongoing series of portraits of New Yorkers with their first-person explanations, Voters of New York is meant to spur civic engagement and boost voter turnout.</p> <p dir="ltr">NYC Votes is the voter engagement arm of the New York City Campaign Finance Board (CFB). Its work includes helping people to register to vote, educating New Yorkers about elections, candidates, and civic life; and encouraging them to get to the polls.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We were inspired by the “Humans of New York” portrait series to provide a platform where New Yorkers can share their feelings and stories about voting. We hope that their words will inspire more New Yorkers to take part in the election on November 8,” said CFB’s Public Relations Officer Katrina Shakarian.</p> <p dir="ltr">With Election Day less than three weeks away, efforts to increase New York’s dismal voting rates are in full swing, with political parties, advocacy groups, and others trying to encourage their members to cast a ballot. The recent state legislative primaries, held September 13, <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/state/6557-another-shockingly-low-turnout-election" target="_blank">saw very low voter turnout</a>, though it was fairly typical for New York in such party primaries. General elections, especially for President, typically bring out more voters, and that is certain to be the case again this year. How many voters is to be seen, but NYC Votes hopes that Voters of New York will contribute to an uptick.</p> <p dir="ltr">According to the <a href="http://vote.nyc.ny.us/downloads/pdf/documents/boe/AnnualReports/BOEAnnualReport12.pdf">Board of Elections Annual Report 2012</a>, in that year’s presidential election, 58% of registered New York City voters cast ballots. In the 2013 New York City mayoral election, turnout was just 26%. Voter turnout is typically higher for presidential elections than any others.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Asking a voter on the streets of New York the simple question, ‘Why is voting important to you?’ opens up so many different stories and opinions,” said Jessica Su, a high school student who interned at CFB and collected the interviews, writing in the program’s <a href="http://www.nyccfb.info/media/blog/new-yorkers-share-their-thoughts-democracy-new-cfb-project">blog</a>. “My favorite moment from the Voters of New York project was attending a naturalization ceremony and seeing so many joy-filled new citizens celebrating their citizenship. Getting to talk to them and see the enthusiasm they have for their new life as citizens is something I will never forget,” Su added.</p> <p dir="ltr">The testimonies of the interviewees, which are anonymous, are posted on different social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and <a href="https://www.instagram.com/votersofnewyork/">Instagram</a>, all using the hashtag <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23votersofnewyork&amp;src=typd" target="_blank">#votersofnewyork</a>. The interviewee’s picture is featured each time, all wearing a sticker that says “I Registered to Vote.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The testimonies showcase people who appear to see voting as not only a right, but a responsibility: “I believe in electing people that are going to fight for our communities. If we don’t vote then we can’t complain. We can’t complain, we have to step up,” says one.</p> <p dir="ltr">A missing sense of responsibility is among a variety of reasons that many New Yorkers do not vote. New York is also known to have antiquated voter registration and voting laws, something some public officials have been fighting to change, but thus far without luck in Albany, the state capital. Right before this year’s deadline to register to vote in the November elections, Mayor Bill de Blasio helped register a few voters in Brooklyn and then held a press conference calling on state lawmakers to pass a series of reforms like same-day voter registration and a period of early voting.</p> <p dir="ltr">Just nine days before the registration deadline Public Advocate Letitia James and a variety of other officials and organizations held a rally at City Hall to push for emergency action by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to help clear a massive citizenship application backlog. Nearly 60,000 applications were still pending in the New York City area before the voter registration deadline.</p> <p dir="ltr">“This year especially we have a presidential election that will change the course of history. So many of these immigrants are soon-to-be citizens, some of them most impacted by this election,” James said during the rally. Extended voter registration at the Board of Elections is available until October 29 for those who became naturalized citizens after the initial deadline on October 14.</p> <p>In efforts to raise awareness on the importance of voting, another program has also sought to gain more voters. Student Voter Registration Day (SVRD), a one-day program, visited 125 New York City high schools on October 6, with the goal of registering 10,000 eligible students as new voters. To make sure these newly registered voters actually use their voice, NYC Votes recruits volunteers for their Get Out The Vote campaign to call new registered voters before Election Day encouraging them to to vote.</p> <p>***<br />by Milka Nissinen for Gotham Gazette<br /><a href="https://twitter.com/GothamGazette" target="_blank">@GothamGazette</a></p> Another Shockingly Low Turnout Election 2016-10-03T04:00:00+00:00 2016-10-03T04:00:00+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=6557:another-shockingly-low-turnout-election Ben Max <p>&nbsp;<img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2016/15003382709_c19331603d_z.jpg" alt="15003382709 c19331603d z" width="640" height="439" /></p> <p>(photo via The Governor's Office)</p> <hr /> <p>The numbers are bad again, additional proof that New Yorkers don&rsquo;t pay much attention to local elections or make voting in them a priority. There were several hotly contested <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/city/6526-new-york-state-legislative-primary-results" target="_blank">state legislative party primary elections</a> on September 13, even a few for open seats, yet the best an individual New York City-based Assembly or Senate district did was 20% participation among active eligible voters.</p> <p>The winner of this unglamorous prize was Assembly District 65, Sheldon Silver&rsquo;s old seat, where short-term incumbent Alice Cancel was defeated in the Democratic primary by Yuh-Line Niou. Of 43,094 active eligible Democrats in the Lower Manhattan district, 8,880 votes were cast, equal to 20.61%.</p> <p>Niou was one of three challengers to unseat New York City incumbents this primary cycle.</p> <p>Another, all the way Uptown in Inwood and nearby areas, saw long-term incumbent Assemblymember Guillermo Linares defeated in the Democratic primary by Carmen De La Rosa. There are 57,053 active eligible Democrats in AD72 and 8,511 voted (4,485 for De La Rosa), for 14.91% turnout.</p> <p>In Queens&rsquo; AD30, long-time Assemblymember Margaret Markey lost to Brian Barnwell in a Democratic primary that saw 8.72% turnout -- Barnwell won the primary, and thus the seat, with 1,710 votes to Markey&rsquo;s 1,082. There are 32,162 active registered Democratic voters in the district.</p> <p>All three of these seats, like in most New York City districts, are overwhelmingly Democratic, so the primary winner is all but certain to win the November 8 general election. Sometimes there <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/state/6536-2016-again-highlights-new-york-incumbency-protection-machine" target="_blank">isn&rsquo;t even a general election opponent on the ballot</a>.</p> <p>The 150-seat state Assembly is dominated by New York City Democrats, whereas the 63-seat state Senate is almost split between Democrats and Republicans. This November&rsquo;s elections look like they will again go a long way to determining which party controls the Senate. New York City-based races are rarely competitive in November, though there are a few city districts where Republicans hold seats or can show well.</p> <p>In most cases, though, the real action is in the Democratic primary. Yet, very few people vote. General elections for Mayor of New York City or Governor of New York have recently seen record low turnout. New York ranks near the bottom of all 50 states when it comes to turnout. The 2016 primary numbers closely track their 2014 and 2012 predecessors.</p> <p>Some blame New York&rsquo;s antiquated voter registration, voting, and election laws - there is <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/state/6295-there-is-a-long-list-of-voting-reforms-new-york-can-pass" target="_blank">a long list of voting reforms</a> that New York could pass given the political will: things like same-day voter registration and early voting, <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/state/6295-there-is-a-long-list-of-voting-reforms-new-york-can-pass" target="_blank">among others</a>. There is also the fact that New York does things <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6081-concerns-of-voter-fatigue-as-new-york-schedules-four-2016-election-days" target="_blank">like scheduling three different primary days</a>, which happened this year: an April presidential primary, a June congressional primary, and the September state legislative primaries. There are also issues related to one-party control, which may depress voter engagement, especially in the heaviest Democratic or Republican strongholds, like much of New York City.</p> <p>Yet even the strength of Democrats in New York City could mean more robust primary contests. While several candidates may run, turnout remains quite low.</p> <p>In the September contests for seats currently open or opening up due to retirement, the numbers were in the same ballpark as the three races listed above where incumbents lost.</p> <p>In the lone currently empty state Senate seat, five Democrats jumped into the race to replace for Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson, who resigned for a job in Gov. Andrew Cuomo&rsquo;s administration. The district is mostly in the Bronx, but stretches into Westchester and is home to 123,140 active registered Democrats (Senate districts are a lot larger than Assembly districts.) With 9.44% turnout, Jamaal Bailey won the primary with 6,938 votes. No other candidate cracked 2,000 votes.</p> <p>For a state Senate seat opening up Uptown, SD31, currently held by Senator Adriano Espaillat, who is heading to Congress, a crowded primary field yielded 18.46% turnout among active registered Democrats. There were 25,937 votes cast by 140,387 active registered voters in the district. Marisol Alcantara won a very close race with 8,469 votes -- about a third of the 25, 937 votes cast. Runner-up Micah Lasher received 8,175 votes.</p> <p>There are three New York City-based Assembly seats already vacant or being vacated -- AD33 in Queens and AD44 and AD56 in Brooklyn. Respectively, these primaries saw 10.12%, 16.29%, and 12.11% turnout among active registered Democrats. The primaries were won by Clyde Vanel, Robert Carroll, and Tremaine Wright, respectively.</p> <p>In a variety of other primaries in which incumbents were being challenged, turnout was in the same neighborhood, though often lower than the aforementioned numbers. In a couple of Bronx districts, turnout was around 7% of active registered Democrats. A few saw around 15% turnout, topped by the unsuccessful challenge from Kate Cucco to Assemblymember Pamela Harris in Brooklyn&rsquo;s Assembly District 46, which saw 16.54% turnout.</p> <p>Voter turnout for the November general election is expected to be much higher given the draw of the Presidential race. State Assembly members and Senators with nominal general election competition and those who won crowded open-seat primaries&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/state/6536-2016-again-highlights-new-york-incumbency-protection-machine" target="_blank">will receive thousands more votes</a> than they did in competitive primaries because more voters will head to the polls to vote for President and select candidates down the ballot.</p> <p>

***
by Ben Max, Gotham Gazette
     

Read more by this writer.

</p> <p>Research performed by Brendan Birth.</p> <p>Note: numbers have been updated since publish to reflect absentee ballots and final Board of Elections certified results.</p>
<p>&nbsp;<img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2016/15003382709_c19331603d_z.jpg" alt="15003382709 c19331603d z" width="640" height="439" /></p> <p>(photo via The Governor's Office)</p> <hr /> <p>The numbers are bad again, additional proof that New Yorkers don&rsquo;t pay much attention to local elections or make voting in them a priority. There were several hotly contested <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/city/6526-new-york-state-legislative-primary-results" target="_blank">state legislative party primary elections</a> on September 13, even a few for open seats, yet the best an individual New York City-based Assembly or Senate district did was 20% participation among active eligible voters.</p> <p>The winner of this unglamorous prize was Assembly District 65, Sheldon Silver&rsquo;s old seat, where short-term incumbent Alice Cancel was defeated in the Democratic primary by Yuh-Line Niou. Of 43,094 active eligible Democrats in the Lower Manhattan district, 8,880 votes were cast, equal to 20.61%.</p> <p>Niou was one of three challengers to unseat New York City incumbents this primary cycle.</p> <p>Another, all the way Uptown in Inwood and nearby areas, saw long-term incumbent Assemblymember Guillermo Linares defeated in the Democratic primary by Carmen De La Rosa. There are 57,053 active eligible Democrats in AD72 and 8,511 voted (4,485 for De La Rosa), for 14.91% turnout.</p> <p>In Queens&rsquo; AD30, long-time Assemblymember Margaret Markey lost to Brian Barnwell in a Democratic primary that saw 8.72% turnout -- Barnwell won the primary, and thus the seat, with 1,710 votes to Markey&rsquo;s 1,082. There are 32,162 active registered Democratic voters in the district.</p> <p>All three of these seats, like in most New York City districts, are overwhelmingly Democratic, so the primary winner is all but certain to win the November 8 general election. Sometimes there <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/state/6536-2016-again-highlights-new-york-incumbency-protection-machine" target="_blank">isn&rsquo;t even a general election opponent on the ballot</a>.</p> <p>The 150-seat state Assembly is dominated by New York City Democrats, whereas the 63-seat state Senate is almost split between Democrats and Republicans. This November&rsquo;s elections look like they will again go a long way to determining which party controls the Senate. New York City-based races are rarely competitive in November, though there are a few city districts where Republicans hold seats or can show well.</p> <p>In most cases, though, the real action is in the Democratic primary. Yet, very few people vote. General elections for Mayor of New York City or Governor of New York have recently seen record low turnout. New York ranks near the bottom of all 50 states when it comes to turnout. The 2016 primary numbers closely track their 2014 and 2012 predecessors.</p> <p>Some blame New York&rsquo;s antiquated voter registration, voting, and election laws - there is <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/state/6295-there-is-a-long-list-of-voting-reforms-new-york-can-pass" target="_blank">a long list of voting reforms</a> that New York could pass given the political will: things like same-day voter registration and early voting, <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/state/6295-there-is-a-long-list-of-voting-reforms-new-york-can-pass" target="_blank">among others</a>. There is also the fact that New York does things <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6081-concerns-of-voter-fatigue-as-new-york-schedules-four-2016-election-days" target="_blank">like scheduling three different primary days</a>, which happened this year: an April presidential primary, a June congressional primary, and the September state legislative primaries. There are also issues related to one-party control, which may depress voter engagement, especially in the heaviest Democratic or Republican strongholds, like much of New York City.</p> <p>Yet even the strength of Democrats in New York City could mean more robust primary contests. While several candidates may run, turnout remains quite low.</p> <p>In the September contests for seats currently open or opening up due to retirement, the numbers were in the same ballpark as the three races listed above where incumbents lost.</p> <p>In the lone currently empty state Senate seat, five Democrats jumped into the race to replace for Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson, who resigned for a job in Gov. Andrew Cuomo&rsquo;s administration. The district is mostly in the Bronx, but stretches into Westchester and is home to 123,140 active registered Democrats (Senate districts are a lot larger than Assembly districts.) With 9.44% turnout, Jamaal Bailey won the primary with 6,938 votes. No other candidate cracked 2,000 votes.</p> <p>For a state Senate seat opening up Uptown, SD31, currently held by Senator Adriano Espaillat, who is heading to Congress, a crowded primary field yielded 18.46% turnout among active registered Democrats. There were 25,937 votes cast by 140,387 active registered voters in the district. Marisol Alcantara won a very close race with 8,469 votes -- about a third of the 25, 937 votes cast. Runner-up Micah Lasher received 8,175 votes.</p> <p>There are three New York City-based Assembly seats already vacant or being vacated -- AD33 in Queens and AD44 and AD56 in Brooklyn. Respectively, these primaries saw 10.12%, 16.29%, and 12.11% turnout among active registered Democrats. The primaries were won by Clyde Vanel, Robert Carroll, and Tremaine Wright, respectively.</p> <p>In a variety of other primaries in which incumbents were being challenged, turnout was in the same neighborhood, though often lower than the aforementioned numbers. In a couple of Bronx districts, turnout was around 7% of active registered Democrats. A few saw around 15% turnout, topped by the unsuccessful challenge from Kate Cucco to Assemblymember Pamela Harris in Brooklyn&rsquo;s Assembly District 46, which saw 16.54% turnout.</p> <p>Voter turnout for the November general election is expected to be much higher given the draw of the Presidential race. State Assembly members and Senators with nominal general election competition and those who won crowded open-seat primaries&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/state/6536-2016-again-highlights-new-york-incumbency-protection-machine" target="_blank">will receive thousands more votes</a> than they did in competitive primaries because more voters will head to the polls to vote for President and select candidates down the ballot.</p> <p>

***
by Ben Max, Gotham Gazette
     

Read more by this writer.

</p> <p>Research performed by Brendan Birth.</p> <p>Note: numbers have been updated since publish to reflect absentee ballots and final Board of Elections certified results.</p>
Forget the Brooklyn Presidential Debate, the Real Battle is New York State 2016-04-07T02:09:43+00:00 2016-04-07T02:09:43+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=6268:forget-the-brooklyn-presidential-debate-the-real-battle-is-new-york-state Super User <p dir="ltr"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/7030332993_98be0d5262_z.jpg" alt="silver skelos cuomo 2012" height="399" width="600" /></p> <p dir="ltr">Albany of yesteryear (photo via The Governor's Office on flickr)</p> <hr /> <p>With an April 14 date set for the Clinton-Sanders Brooklyn debate, New York and Kings County are now center stage in the ever-engrossing presidential election. Though bringing the ninth Democratic presidential debate to Brooklyn might help New Yorkers become more informed voters, it also sadly serves as a timely distraction from the latest setback to progressive governance reforms in the Empire State.</p> <p dir="ltr">Thanks to the <a href="http://www.wnyc.org/story/legislature-and-cuomo-miss-key-opportunity-address-ethics/" target="_blank">exclusion of any government ethics reform measures in the state budget deal</a> reached last week, New Yorkers will continue to live in a state that offers public pensions for longtime legislators turned felons, loopholes for special interest groups to funnel millions into local campaigns, and no limits on outside income for our part-time legislators.</p> <p dir="ltr">With wealthy donors this free to inject money into politics, it's easy to understand <a href="http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2015/01/troubled_ny_politicians_a_list_of_arrests_scandals_misdeeds_and_controversies.html" target="_blank">why in the last decade over 40 New York lawmakers </a>have been arrested or left office after being accused of impropriety, including a notable few from Brooklyn. As such, it’s also not much of a surprise that the Center for Public Integrity has <a href="http://new-york-gets-d-grade-2015-state-integrity-investigation" target="_blank">given New York State a D-</a> in its State Integrity Investigation and consistently ranks New York among the worst for government accountability and transparency nationwide.</p> <p dir="ltr">When the presidential candidates debate national politics in our borough, let’s hope they remember that all politics are ultimately local. If Senator Sanders is committed to taking money out of politics, there are <a href="http://www.newkingsdemocrats.com/accessibility_accountability" target="_blank">plenty of easy targets right here in New York</a>. If Secretary Clinton cares about building trust with voters, she could be served well by demanding an ethics package in her own state.</p> <p dir="ltr">New Yorkers are frustrated with business as usual in Albany—a sentiment easily seen in <a href="http://www.nyccfb.info/media/blog/new-york-state-near-bottom-voter-turnout-rankings" target="_blank">abysmal voter turnout</a> numbers. While a Brooklyn debate will help both campaigns excite their supporters in time for the April 19 primary, supporting reforms to the state’s election laws would ensure that New York voters have their voices heard in all elections.</p> <p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.newkingsdemocrats.com/voting_rights" target="_blank">Common sense reforms</a> like online voter registration, early voting, and same-day party enrollment are commonplace in other U.S. states but denied to New York voters. These reforms would not only increase voter participation for working families but help newer residents still registered in their long-abandoned “home” states have a voice in electing their representatives.</p> <p dir="ltr">Brooklyn is home to a strong Democratic majority and <a href="http://www.thenation.com/article/meet-the-democratic-socialist-whos-running-for-new-york-state-senate/" target="_blank">some promising progressive leaders</a> <a href="http://www.thenation.com/article/meet-the-democratic-socialist-whos-running-for-new-york-state-senate/">b</a>u<a href="http://www.thenation.com/article/meet-the-democratic-socialist-whos-running-for-new-york-state-senate/">t</a> we’ve been “led” by entrenched political powers for much too long.</p> <p dir="ltr">New York and Kings County can become more democratic, but this can only happen through ongoing political engagement on the local level. Before we start celebrating public debates between national candidates in our community, let’s demand <a href="http://blog.timesunion.com/capitol/archives/247452/ethics-advocates-decry-opaque-budget-negotiations/" target="_blank">public conversations on decision-making in New York State</a>,<a href="http://blog.timesunion.com/capitol/archives/247452/ethics-advocates-decry-opaque-budget-negotiations/"> </a>a modernized electoral system, and state ethics rules with teeth. Whether we vote for our first democratic socialist president or first female president in New York’s primary, let’s not let the revolution stop there.</p> <p dir="ltr">***<br />by Anusha Venkataraman and Rodrigo Camarena on behalf of <a href="http://newkingsdemocrats.com" target="_blank">New Kings Democrats</a>, a progressive, grassroots political organization committed to bringing trans&shy;parency, accountability, and inclusionary democracy to the Kings County Democratic Party.</p> <p dir="ltr">

***
Have an op-ed idea or submission for Gotham Gazette? Email opinion@gothamgazette.com

</p>
<p dir="ltr"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/7030332993_98be0d5262_z.jpg" alt="silver skelos cuomo 2012" height="399" width="600" /></p> <p dir="ltr">Albany of yesteryear (photo via The Governor's Office on flickr)</p> <hr /> <p>With an April 14 date set for the Clinton-Sanders Brooklyn debate, New York and Kings County are now center stage in the ever-engrossing presidential election. Though bringing the ninth Democratic presidential debate to Brooklyn might help New Yorkers become more informed voters, it also sadly serves as a timely distraction from the latest setback to progressive governance reforms in the Empire State.</p> <p dir="ltr">Thanks to the <a href="http://www.wnyc.org/story/legislature-and-cuomo-miss-key-opportunity-address-ethics/" target="_blank">exclusion of any government ethics reform measures in the state budget deal</a> reached last week, New Yorkers will continue to live in a state that offers public pensions for longtime legislators turned felons, loopholes for special interest groups to funnel millions into local campaigns, and no limits on outside income for our part-time legislators.</p> <p dir="ltr">With wealthy donors this free to inject money into politics, it's easy to understand <a href="http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2015/01/troubled_ny_politicians_a_list_of_arrests_scandals_misdeeds_and_controversies.html" target="_blank">why in the last decade over 40 New York lawmakers </a>have been arrested or left office after being accused of impropriety, including a notable few from Brooklyn. As such, it’s also not much of a surprise that the Center for Public Integrity has <a href="http://new-york-gets-d-grade-2015-state-integrity-investigation" target="_blank">given New York State a D-</a> in its State Integrity Investigation and consistently ranks New York among the worst for government accountability and transparency nationwide.</p> <p dir="ltr">When the presidential candidates debate national politics in our borough, let’s hope they remember that all politics are ultimately local. If Senator Sanders is committed to taking money out of politics, there are <a href="http://www.newkingsdemocrats.com/accessibility_accountability" target="_blank">plenty of easy targets right here in New York</a>. If Secretary Clinton cares about building trust with voters, she could be served well by demanding an ethics package in her own state.</p> <p dir="ltr">New Yorkers are frustrated with business as usual in Albany—a sentiment easily seen in <a href="http://www.nyccfb.info/media/blog/new-york-state-near-bottom-voter-turnout-rankings" target="_blank">abysmal voter turnout</a> numbers. While a Brooklyn debate will help both campaigns excite their supporters in time for the April 19 primary, supporting reforms to the state’s election laws would ensure that New York voters have their voices heard in all elections.</p> <p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.newkingsdemocrats.com/voting_rights" target="_blank">Common sense reforms</a> like online voter registration, early voting, and same-day party enrollment are commonplace in other U.S. states but denied to New York voters. These reforms would not only increase voter participation for working families but help newer residents still registered in their long-abandoned “home” states have a voice in electing their representatives.</p> <p dir="ltr">Brooklyn is home to a strong Democratic majority and <a href="http://www.thenation.com/article/meet-the-democratic-socialist-whos-running-for-new-york-state-senate/" target="_blank">some promising progressive leaders</a> <a href="http://www.thenation.com/article/meet-the-democratic-socialist-whos-running-for-new-york-state-senate/">b</a>u<a href="http://www.thenation.com/article/meet-the-democratic-socialist-whos-running-for-new-york-state-senate/">t</a> we’ve been “led” by entrenched political powers for much too long.</p> <p dir="ltr">New York and Kings County can become more democratic, but this can only happen through ongoing political engagement on the local level. Before we start celebrating public debates between national candidates in our community, let’s demand <a href="http://blog.timesunion.com/capitol/archives/247452/ethics-advocates-decry-opaque-budget-negotiations/" target="_blank">public conversations on decision-making in New York State</a>,<a href="http://blog.timesunion.com/capitol/archives/247452/ethics-advocates-decry-opaque-budget-negotiations/"> </a>a modernized electoral system, and state ethics rules with teeth. Whether we vote for our first democratic socialist president or first female president in New York’s primary, let’s not let the revolution stop there.</p> <p dir="ltr">***<br />by Anusha Venkataraman and Rodrigo Camarena on behalf of <a href="http://newkingsdemocrats.com" target="_blank">New Kings Democrats</a>, a progressive, grassroots political organization committed to bringing trans&shy;parency, accountability, and inclusionary democracy to the Kings County Democratic Party.</p> <p dir="ltr">

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