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  • As New York Votes, a Push to Allow 17-Year-Olds the Ballot Next

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    Assemblymember Robert Carroll at Monday's rally


    On the eve of Election Day 2017, a state Assembly member from Brooklyn held a press conference focused on voter engagement and turnout, but it wasn’t in support of his own candidacy -- he’s not up for reelection until next year -- or anyone else’s. Instead, Assemblymember Robert Carroll was talking about his push to allow 17-year-olds to vote.

    In the state capital of Albany, Carroll recently introduced a bill, the Young Voter Act, that would

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  • Voters Guide for the City's 2017 General Election

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    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    ELECTION DAY IS TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 7 -- BE READY TO VOTE!

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    by Ben Max, Gotham Gazette
         

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  • It’s Not Too Late to Start Paying Attention to the City Elections - Here’s How

    NYC Votes voters New York City

    (image: NYC Votes)


    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.

    Tuesday, October 24, marked two 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

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  • You Can Help Boost Voter Turnout on Election Day, But You Have to Register Soon

    voting booth elections

    (Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    In order to vote in the city’s November 7 general election -- for Mayor, Public Advocate, Comptroller, Borough President City Council, and other offices -- one must register with the Board of Elections 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

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  • Your Right to Vote in New York is as Vulnerable as Anywhere in the U.S.

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    (photo: Samar Khurshid/Gotham Gazette)


    We are in a perilous time for voting rights. Since even before President Trump’s inauguration, he has been pushing the myth of widespread voter fraud. With the creation of the Presidential Advisory Commission for Election Integrity in May, he put the power of the federal government behind perpetuating that claim. This commission is part of a larger and systematic assault on voting rights.

    Our government, both on the federal and state level, has made increasingly aggressive moves to redefine voting

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  • New York Votes Act Doesn’t Go Far Enough

    Eric Schneiderman

     (photo via @AGSchneiderman)

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  • Schneiderman: ‘Not one single substantiated claim of voter fraud in New York last year’

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    AG Eric Schneiderman voting


    New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman responded to a congressional inquiry Wednesday, making clear that there was “not one single substantiated claim of voter fraud in New York last year.”

    In a letter, addressed to Reps. Elijah Cummings, Robert Brady, and James Clyburn, Schneiderman emphasized the real voting challenges in New York are those that disenfranchise potential voters, rather than the “imaginary problem of voter fraud.”

    “New York’s voting system faces many challenges,” Schneiderman wrote, with restrictive

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  • Cuomo Embraces Voting Reform Agenda, But Implementation Poses Challenges

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    Gov. Cuomo voting (photo: The Governor's Office on flickr)


    During his State of the State tour early this month, Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed a trio of major reforms hailed as important steps toward modernizing New York’s antiquated electoral system and increasing the state’s paltry voter turnout. While they are long-called for proposals that many are pleased to see Cuomo promote, implementing these goals could be more complicated than it may seem.

    Two of the three reforms, early voting and automatic voter registration, were outlined in Cuomo’s 2016

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  • De Blasio Appeals for Support in Pushing Albany on Voting Reform

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    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    In order to improve New York’s dismal voter turnout rates, it’s necessary to “shake the foundations of things,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio in his keynote speech at a voter turnout symposium at New York Law School on Friday.

    Speaking to an audience of more than a hundred people, many of them advocates of voting and election reform, the mayor made a forceful appeal to reinforce his recent call for reform bills in Albany. De Blasio lamented the fact that New York is well behind dozens of other states in

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  • Taking Up Voting Reform, De Blasio Cites Sanders Campaign as Motivation

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    De Blasio registers a voter (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    As Public Advocate, Bill de Blasio strongly pushed for voting reform in New York, but as Mayor, it has not been high on his list of priorities. Last month, with Election Day around the corner, that seemed to change as de Blasio renewed his call for a system that will encourage voting in a state with one of the lowest voter turnout rates in the country.

    The advocacy comes just ahead of de Blasio’s re-election year and is spurred in part, the mayor said, by the

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  • Fixing New York’s Broken Voting System

    gianaris vote better 1

    Senator Gianaris, the author


    When I went to cast my vote, in the same polling location I have voted all my life, the line was out the door. I’ve never seen it that crowded before. At other polling sites in my district, wait times lasted up to two hours, often scuttling voters' other plans for the day or causing upheaval for families. Observing the chaos, I thought about the 34 states that have already enacted early voting, a process proven to increase voter participation and enhance convenience.

    Why hasn't New York adopted this common-sense

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  • Deadline Looms for Unregistered, Unaffiliated New York Voters

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    Bill de Blasio voting (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    New York State is home to roughly 2 million people who are eligible to vote but are not registered. The number is a rough estimate using numbers from the state Board of Elections and the American Community Survey. The November 8 general elections, including for President and a variety of state and local elected offices, are just under a month away. This Friday, October 14, is the deadline for New Yorkers to register to vote and many efforts are being made to encourage

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  • Closed Primaries are Less Inclusive than Soviet Era Politics

     

    kaminsky voting april 2016

    State Senator Kaminsky voting


    I grew up in a country where most elections were fixed, voting made no difference, and the political process was a dull affair run by a party whose politics were as odious as its leaders. In that country I was able to live and vote without joining the aforementioned party, although I had to withstand poll workers knocking on my door until I exercised my civic right and duty.

    This past March, living in a country that prides itself on its democracy, I had to join a party in order to

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  • Use of Abstentions Varies Widely Among City Council Members

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    City Council chambers (Sofie Hecht for Gotham Gazette)


    Hundreds of times a year, City Council members vote on pieces of legislation, including the city’s budget, land use matters, and a wide variety of bills and resolutions. Members almost always vote “yes” or “no.” But sometimes, Council members choose to abstain, actively deciding not to declare they are for or against what is in front of them, and in the 51-seat City Council, abstentions are used by members to widely varying degrees.

    In the New York State Assembly,

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  • New Yorkers Vote in Congressional Primaries June 28

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    Rep. Charles Rangel is retiring (photo via Rep. Rangel on Flickr)


    While many voters and most media are focused on the race for President, this year will also see all 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and 34 of the 100 U.S. Senate seats on the ballot. New York’s 27 seats in the House and one of its two Senate seats - the one held by Senator Charles Schumer -  will be voted on during June 28 primaries and the November 8 general election.

    In an odd - some say counterproductive and undemocratic -

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