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Elections

Elections

Election Results: Minor Races


Untitled Document

District Leaders work as a point of contact between political parties and the communities in which they work and one of their main responsibilities is to recruit poll workers.

State committee members serve as delegates at the statewide party conventions

Delegates to the Judicial Convention are picked to formally ratify party nomination for judges who are running in upcoming elections.

Democratic Male State Committee

Office (by State Assembly District)

Winner

Date Posted

22 - Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, southern Sunset Park, Boro Park, St. George, Stapleton, Rosebank, Dongan Hills, Grassmere, New Dorp, South Beach, Midland Beach, Arrochas, Thompkinsville, Clifton

Eddie Abrams

9-13-06

23 - Bensonhurst, Borough Park, Seagate, Coney Island, Windsor Terrace, parts of Brighton Beach, Kensington, Flatbush, Sunset Park, Park Slope in Brooklyn. North Shore of Staten Island

John J Baxter

9-13-06

26 - East Flushing, Bayside, Douglaston, Little Neck, Whitestone, Malba, Bay Terrace, Floral Park

Benjamin J Fischer

9-13-06

27 - Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Marine Park, Mill Basin, Bergan Beach, Flatbush

Crosetti Denson

9-13-06

30 - Maspeth, Woodside, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Sunnyside, Middle Village, Astoria

Gerald Everette

9-13-06

34 - Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, Corona

Matthew E Distefano

9-13-06

39 - Jackson Heights, Corona

Orlando Tobon

9-13-06

40 - East New York, Brownsville

Earl Williams

9-13-06

43 - Crown Heights, Flatbush

Jesse E Hamilton

9-13-06

56 - Tompkins Park North, Weeksville, Bedford-Stuyvesant

Albert Van

9-13-06

58 - Flatbush, Brownsville, Canarsie

Kendall Stewart

9-13-06

60 - Brooklyn: Bay Ridge, Fort Hamiliton. Staten Island: Eltingville, Great Kills, Richmond, Oakwood Beach, New Dorp Beach, Midland Beach, Fort Wadsworth, Dongan Hills, Emerson Hills, Grant City, Rosebank, Shore Acre, Grasmere, Arrochae

Paul Gibilisco

9-13-06

62 - New Dorp, Oakwood, Great Kills, Eltingville, Annandale, Huguenot, Pleasant Plains, Prince's Bay, Cottonville, Roseville

Frank Morano

9-13-06

63 - New Dorp, Oakwood, Great Kills, Eltingville, Annandale, Huguenot, Pleasant Plains, Prince's Bay, Cottonville, Roseville

Thomas Wm Hamilton

9-13-06

66 - Greenwich Village, SoHo, Tribeca, East Village

Arthur Z Schwartz

9-13-06

68 - Harlem

Bill Perkins

9-13-06

72 - Washington Heights, Inwood, Marble Hill

Miguel Martinez

9-13-06

79 - Morrisania, Claremont, Crotona-Mapes, Longwood, Charlotte Gardens, Belmont

Matthew Chapman

9-13-06

Democratic Female State Committee

Office (by State Assembly District)

Winner

Date Posted

23 - Bensonhurst, Borough Park, Seagate, Coney Island, Windsor Terrace, parts of Brighton Beach, Kensington, Flatbush, Sunset Park, Park Slope in Brooklyn. North Shore of Staten Island

Laura Allen

9-13-06

27 - Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Marine Park, Mill Basin, Bergan Beach, Flatbush

Taneisha Lomax

9-13-06

39 - Jackson Heights, Corona

Jenny Fernandez

9-13-06

40 - East New York, Brownsville

Diane Gordon

9-13-06

46 - Bay Ridge, Brighton Beach, Coney Island, Dyker Heights, Marlboro, Sea Gate, high-rises of Brightwater, Luna Park, Trump Village, Warbasse

Dilia R Schack

9-13-06

56 - Tompkins Park North, Weeksville, Bedford-Stuyvesant

Annette M Robinson

9-13-06

57 - Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Flatbush, parts of Park Slope, Bedford-Stuyvesant

Olanike T Alabi

9-13-06

58 - Flatbush, Brownsville, Canarsie

Melba P Brown

9-13-06

67 - Upper West Side of Manhattan

Debra Cooper

9-13-06

68 Harlem

Peggy Morales

9-13-06

70 - Morningside Heights, Harlem, Hamilton Heights, Manhattanville

Sylvia A Tyler

9-13-06

72 - Washington Heights, Inwood, Marble Hill

Joan Serrano Laufer

9-13-06

79 - Morrisania, Claremont, Crotona-Mapes, Longwood, Charlotte Gardens, Belmont

Gladys Ramirez

9-13-06

84 - Highbridge, Melrose, Longwood, Mott Haven, Port Morris, Hunts Point

Iris Fernandez

9-13-06

Democratic Male District Leader

Office (by Leadership)

Winner

Date Posted

22 Part A

John C Liu

9-13-06

22 Part B

James Wu

9-13-06

35 Part A

Jimmy Smith

9-13-06

39 Part B

Hiram Monserrate

9-13-06

79

Jose A Padilla Jr.

9-13-06

Democratic Female District Leader

Office (by Leadership District)

Winner

Date Posted

22 Part A

Marth Flores-Vasquez

9-13-06

22 Part B

Mei-Hua Ru

9-13-06

35 Part B

Barbara J Jackson

9-13-06

39 Part A

Dorothy A Phelan

9-13-06

79

Shirley Jackson

9-13-06

84

Maria Del Carmen Arroyo

9-13-06

Democratic Delegate to Judicial Convention*

Office (by State Assembly District)

Winner

Date Posted

22 - Queens

Daniel Cuevas

9-13-06

43 - Crown Heights, Flatbush

James C Patterson

9-13-06

55 - Oceanhill, Browsville, Bedford, Stuyvesant, Crown Heights, Bushwick

Kamaria Boyland

9-13-06

56 - Tompkins Park North, Weeksville, Bedford-Stuyvesant

Richard Taylor

9-13-06

57 - Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Flatbush, parts of Park Slope, Bedford-Stuyvesant

Thelma Woods

9-13-06

58 - Flatbush, Brownsville, Canarsie

Nickolas A Perry

9-13-06

66 - Greenwich Village, SoHo, Tribeca, East Village

Arthur Z Schwartz

9-13-06

68 Harlem

Brenda Colon

9-13-06

72 - Washington Heights, Inwood, Marble Hill

Adriano Espaillat

9-13-06

75 - Chelsea, Clinton, Murray Hill, Midtown, Lincoln Center area in Manhattan

Sylvia Schwartz

9-13-06

*There was more than one winner in these races. The name listed is the biggest vote-getter.

Democratic Alternate Delegate to the Judicial Convention *

Office (by State Assembly District)

Winner

Date Posted

22 - Queens

Mai Chen

9-13-06

43 - Crown Heights, Flatbush

Lourdes Ducos

9-13-06

55 - Oceanhill, Browsville, Bedford, Stuyvesant, Crown Heights, Bushwick

Ruby J Boyland

9-13-06

56 - Tompkins Park North, Weeksville, Bedford-Stuyvesant

Edna Johnson

9-13-06

57 - Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Flatbush, parts of Park Slope, Bedford-Stuyvesant

Renee Greene

9-13-06

58 - Flatbush, Brownsville, Canarsie

Sharon Reid

9-13-06

66 - Greenwich Village, SoHo, Tribeca, East Village

Cella Wu

9-13-06

68 Harlem

Gladys Perez

9-13-06

72 - Washington Heights, Inwood, Marble Hill

Miguel Pena

9-13-06

75 - Chelsea, Clinton, Murray Hill, Midtown, Lincoln Center area in Manhattan

Edith Collins

09-13-06

* There was more than one winner in these races. The name listed is the biggest vote-getter.

 

 

Not-So-Special Elections


Democracy seemed at work in a basement auditorium on the Upper West Side recently, when about 40 residents attended a debate for a Special Election -- except that each of the candidates said the race was undemocratic.

One candidate called the race for an open Assembly seat left vacant after Scott Stringer was elected as Manhattan Borough President "bizarre” and “insider.” Another described it as a “travesty.” Stringer himself said it was "ridiculous."

However, none of that prevented Stringer from using the process to make sure that his favorite candidate, Linda Rosenthal, won the Democratic nomination. And it didn’t stop Rosenthal, who admitted that the “process may stink,” from accepting the nomination.

On Tuesday, February 28, voters on the West and East Side of Manhattan and in Southeast Brooklyn will elect three new State Assembly members in "Special Elections."

Most of the people who live in these areas are unaware that the elections are taking place. And even those few who do bother to go to the polls will find that the field of candidates has already been narrowed by an arcane political process and the influence of Democratic Party leaders.

The whole system of choosing a party nominee and getting on the ballot in a Special Election is so complex and inexplicable that even trying to explain it might kill off some of our readers (which we don't want to do; if you want a detailed explanation, you'll have to click here.)

Whoever wins will have to run again this fall, but given that incumbents have a nearly 100 percent reelection rate in New York, the victors have a good chance of serving a lifetime in office.

“The whole system of elections in New York State is rigged,” said Blair Horner of the New York Public Interest Research Group. “Special Elections just exacerbate the existing problems because no one knows it’s happening.”

Here is a look at the three Special Elections in New York City on February 28 and the political shenanigans leading up to them.

Stacking the Deck

67th Assembly District – West Side of Manhattan

Tom Weiss spent 45 minutes last week describing how he was different from the other candidates running for State Assembly seat on the Upper West Side. Then he stopped, saying that these differences don't matter anymore because the party bosses had already decided who would win – depriving the voters of the chance to do so.

"The powers that be could have taken any of the candidates and that candidate would have won," said Weiss. "You can't tell me that's not an appointment."

Last week, Weiss – who is the son of the former Congressman Ted Weiss and presumably knows a few things about running a campaign – was kicked off the ballot because of technical problems in his petitions.

Most of the other candidates also agree that Special Elections are fundamentally flawed. The only candidate who does not seem to take offense at the process is the Republican candidate, Emily Csendes. “Being the Republican candidate - for better or for worse - is a lonely process,” she said. “Hopefully someday this might be an issue for us.”

Criticism or no, this is how public officials on the West Side have historically earned their jobs. And even those who call for reform aren't shy about using the system for their own benefit.

This year, Jerrold Nadler and Scott Stringer, who both became the Democratic nominee for Congress and the Assembly seats respectively through similar clubhouse votes, decided to anoint Nadler's aide, Linda Rosenthal, as the Democratic nominee. (For the details of how they did this, again click here.)

In most Special Elections, this is generally the end of the story. Once the power brokers choose a candidate everyone else bows out.

Indeed, several Democrats did drop out once the party picked Rosenthal. But Charles Simon and Michael Lupinacci stayed in the race by getting on the ballot on newly-created minor party lines. Simon is running on the "West Side Progressive Party" line; Lupinacci is running on the "New Leadership" line.

There are not many major philosophical differences between the candidates from the Upper West Side, but they are trying to distinguish themselves from one another.

Rosenthal believes her lengthy experience in Nadler’s office sets her apart. She wants to focus on Albany's refusal to abide by the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit and on overdevelopment in the district.

Charles Simon, who also serves on community board 7, says his priorities are to repeal the Urstadt Law (which took away rent regulation from city officials and gave it to the state), address gang activity in local high schools, and monitor the city's plans to use a waterfront facility on 59th Street to load commercial garbage onto barges.

Michael Lupinacci wants to push Albany on the school funding lawsuit and restructure schools so more students go to one school for kindergarten through 12th grade.

Emily Csendes is a teacher at a public high school in Harlem who ran for the seat in 2004. Her platform calls for investment in school construction to reduce class sizes and targeted tax incentives for technology.

All the candidates also agree that reforming Albany's dysfunctional system of governance should be on the list of priorities.

Linda Rosenthal, however, bristles at the idea that she is a beneficiary of an unfair system.

"While the process may stink, I think I'm the right choice," she said.

Courting the Democratic Party

59th State Assembly District - Canarsie, Bergen Beach, Mill Basin, Marine Park, Flatlands Brooklyn

Last summer, a few hours before the New York State Legislature ended its session for the year, Governor George Pataki and Senate and Assembly leaders decided to create an additional Surrogate’s Court seat in Brooklyn.

The decision was criticized for several reasons:
• Nearly every other county in the state only has one Surrogate’s Court judge – who handles wills and estates. There was no evidence that a new post was needed in Brooklyn.
• One of the sitting Surrogate's Court judges, Michael Feinberg, was removedfrom the bench for improperly awarding $9 million in fees to his friend, an attorney.
• Albany leaders carefully crafted the deal so that the Brooklyn Democratic Party leaders, the same people who selected Feinberg – not the voters - would choose the new judge.

(For more on corruption in the Brooklyn judicial system, play Gotham Gazette’s Judges Game.)

Still, despite all of the suspicion about the new seat, Brooklyn State Assemblymember Frank Seddio openly campaigned among his fellow Democrats for the post -– and reportedly gave $32,000 in donations to elected officials and local clubs in the weeks leading up to the appointment.

In September, Brooklyn Democratic Party leaders nominated Frank Seddio as the new Surrogate’s Court Judge -- thus opening up his seat in the Assembly. A few months later, Democratic leaders in Brooklyn chose Alan Maisel, Seddio’s chief-of-staff, as their nominee to replace Seddio in the 59th Assembly District. (For the details on the process by which this happened, again click here.)

Alan Maisel defends his former boss and the process by which he was selected by the local party.

“None of the people that [Seddio] gave money to -– with the exception of one or two people -– had any role in selecting him as a judge,” said Maisel.

“I have been very involved in local Democratic politics for years,” he added. “Nobody else presented themselves as a candidate.”

When voters go to the polls they will see two other candidates on the ballot: Republican Ronald Haugstatter and Conservative Alice Gaffney. (Neither candidate returned phone calls seeking an interview.)

Even if a voter wanted to attend a candidate forum and hear how the various people differ on the issues, it would be impossible; there hasn’t been one.

“I did go to one event that was supposed to be a candidate forum,” said Alan Maisel. “But no one else showed up. It was a one person forum.”

Fight in the East Side Political Clubhouse

74th Assembly District – East Side of Manhattan

Last fall, East Side State Assemblymember Steve Sanders, who had recently undergone quadruple-bypass heart surgery, announced that he was retiring from the New York State Legislature after 28 years in office.

The announcement immediately generated speculation about who might run for his seat. But after Sanders endorsed his chief-of-staff Steven Kaufman, many other Democrats like former City Councilmember Margarita Lopez said they would stay out of the race in deference to the former Assemblymember.

The race for the Democratic nomination then became a two-person affair between Steven Kaufman and Sylvia Friedman, a longtime Democratic activist on the East Side.

While Steven Kaufman had the support of outgoing Assemblymember Sanders, Sylvia Friedman relied on her ties to the four local Democratic clubs, whose members would ultimately vote on the nominee – and she scored an upset win over Kaufman. (For the details of how the process works, again click here.)

“Steve didn’t have any clubs behind him,” she said.

Steven Kaufman said that the vote came down to which committee members showed up and which did not. “There were people in Hawaii and Aruba,” he said. “One guy who supported me had tickets for the ballet that night and couldn’t make it.”

He also believes that some of the Democratic committee members cast their ballot with an eye toward the Democratic Primary in September, when a larger field of candidates might be encouraged to run.

“There were people who were looking forward to the Democratic Primary and wanted an outcome in the Special Election that is better for their plans,” said Kaufman. “That’s part of politics.”

Sylvia Friedman, who also has the Working Families Party line, will face Republican Frank Scala in the Special Election.

Frank Scala, a Republican activist on the Upper East Side dating back to Governor Nelson Rockefeller's administration, believes that he actually has a better chance in a Special Election because only residents who are extremely active in the neighborhood know that the election is happening.

“In New York, people vote for the Democrat and they don’t even know who the people are,” said Scala. “But people in the neighborhood [who show up for a Special Election] know who I am.”

 

Campaign 2005 General Election Guide for the Last Minute Voter


When New Yorkers go to the polls on November 8, it is not an exaggeration to say that their decisions will make history - and shape the city for decades to come.

If Mayor Michael Bloomberg is reelected, New York City will have a Republican mayor for 16 years, an unprecedented streak in an overwhelmingly Democratic city. If Democrat Fernando Ferrer is elected, he will become the city's first Latino mayor. Both candidates have also made promises for the future: to build tens of thousands of new homes, expand health care programs, and create new jobs for the next generation.

But there is more at stake than just the mayor's race.

Voters will also weigh in on half a dozen other seats - from public advocate to judgeships - and vote "Yes" or "No" on four ballot questions, including one that calls for $2.9 billion in repairs to roads, bus and train improvements, and major investment in the long-awaited Second Avenue subway.

To help voters before they go into the polling booth, we offer the following guide. And on the night of the election and in the days after, see Gotham Gazette's <http://www.gothamgazette.com/campaign2005_ge_results.php> Election Results.

I. THE MAYOR'S RACE
Who Is Running?
What Are the Candidates Saying?

II. THE OTHER RACES
Who Is Running for:
-Public Advocate?
-Comptroller?
-Borough President?
-City Council?
-Judicial seats?
-Clarence Norman's seat?

III. THE FOUR BALLOT QUESTIONS
What Are the Questions?
What Are the Arguments For and Against Each?

IV. THINGS TO KNOWN BEFORE GOING TO THE POLLS
Where Do I Vote?
What Do First Time Voters Need To Know?
What Are My Rights?

V. THE RESULTS
-How Do I Find Out Who Won?

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

I. THE RACE FOR MAYOR

Who Is Running?

The two front-runners in the mayoral election are Republican <http://www.mikebloomberg.com/> Michael Bloomberg and Democrat <http://www.ferrer2005.com/main.cfm> Fernando Ferrer, but there are other mayoral candidates as well.<http://www.ognibeneforny.com/> Conservative Thomas Ognibene, <http://www.themilitant.com/> Socialist Worker candidate Martin Koppel, <http://www.audreysilkfornycmayor.com/> Libertarian Audrey Silk, <http://www.educationparty.org/> Education Party candidate Seth Blum, <http://www.greenmayor.org/> Green Party candidate Anthony Gronowicz, and Jimmy McMilan, who is running on the Rent is Too Damn High line, are all trying to earn New Yorkers' votes on Election Day.

For more on all of these candidates for mayor, <http://www.gothamgazette.com/campaign2005/52> click here.

What are the Candidates for Mayor Saying?

Even the most attentive voters have probably found it difficult to compare the mayoral candidates this year.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has relied heavily on television ads and decided to attend only two debates, both in the week leading up to the election.

Fernando Ferrer argues that he will do more for the poor and working class New Yorkers, but several of his most prominent campaign platforms - such as building more housing, providing health care for children, and improving subway security - are things that Bloomberg vows to do as well.

But there are <http://www.gothamgazette.com/blogs/wonkster/2005/10/25/155/> distinct differences between the candidates, and each has specific plans for education, taxes, development, crime, and healthcare.

For how Bloomberg and Ferrer differ, read <http://www.gothamgazette.com/article/issueoftheweek/20051017/200/1621> The Real Issues in the Mayor's Race.

Compare the candidates' stances on education, housing, taxes, health care, and transportation with Gotham Gazette's <http://www.gothamgazette.com/mayor_grid_05_1.shtml> Mayoral Issue Grid.

Read a transcript of the debate held on October 30. Also read the transcript of the final debate held on November 1.

And visit Gotham Gazette's blog Wonkster for a roundup of opinion on the election.

II. THE OTHER RACES

Who Is Running in the Other Races?

Public Advocate

The public advocate is the second-highest official in the city, a "watchdog" over the mayor and the rest of city government. This year, incumbent Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum is facing three challengers: Republican Jay Golub, Libertarian Jim Lesczynski, and "subway-gunman" Bernard Geotz, who is running on the Rebuild party line. (<http://www.gothamgazette.com/campaign2005/53>Click here<http://www.gothamgazette.com/campaign2005/53> to learn more about the race.)

Comptroller

The comptroller keeps track of the city's fiscal policies and financial transactions. This year, incumbent Comptroller Bill Thompson faces three challengers: Socialist Worker candidate Daniel Fein, Libertarian Ron Moore, and Conservative Herbert Ryan. (<http://www.gothamgazette.com/campaign2005/54>Click here for more on the race.)

Borough President

Each of the city's borough presidents is also up for reelection this year. In September, Democrat Scott Stringer won a crowded primary for Manhattan Borough President. Now, he faces four other candidates in the General Election. <http://www.gothamgazette.com/campaign2005/57> Click here for more on the Manhattan Borough President race. Also see races for <http://www.gothamgazette.com/campaign2005/55> Bronx<http://www.gothamgazette.com/campaign2005/55> , <http://www.gothamgazette.com/campaign2005/56> Brooklyn<http://www.gothamgazette.com/campaign2005/56>, <http://www.gothamgazette.com/campaign2005/58> Queens<http://www.gothamgazette.com/campaign2005/58>, and <http://www.gothamgazette.com/campaign2005/59> Staten Island<http://www.gothamgazette.com/campaign2005/59> Borough President.

City Council

There will be at least nine new members of the City Council elected this year because of term limits, and the remaining 42 incumbent City Council members all must run for reelection (though a dozen are unopposed).

The most competitive races in the General Election are for four seats in which Republicans and Democrats each have strong candidates. (Read the article <http://www.gothamgazette.com/article/issueoftheweek/20051021/200/1631> City Council Races to Watch.)

In <http://www.gothamgazette.com/campaign2005/4> district 4 on the Upper East Side, Democrat Dan Garodnick, Libertarian Jak Jacob Karako and Republican Patrick Murphy are fighting for the seat left vacant after the current City Councilmember Eva Moskowitz decided to run for Manhattan Borough President. (Read a transcript of a <http://www.gothamgazette.com/article/issueoftheweek/20051024/200/1629> district 4 debate.)

In <http://www.gothamgazette.com/campaign2005/5> district 5, also on the Upper East Side, Democrat Jessica Lappin and Republican Joel Zinberg are facing off for the seat of City Council Speaker Gifford Miller, who must leave office because of term limits. (Read a transcript of a <http://www.gothamgazette.com/article/issueoftheweek/20051024/200/1629> district 5 debate.)

In <http://www.gothamgazette.com/campaign2005/13> district 13 in the Northeast Bronx, Republican Philip Foglia and Democrat James Vacca are campaigning for an open seat.

In <http://www.gothamgazette.com/campaign2005/43> district 43 in Brooklyn, City Councilmember Vincent Gentile faces such a tough challenge from Republican Pat Russo, who he narrowly defeated in 2003.

To find who is running in your City Council district:
1. Go to Gotham Gazette's Campaign 2005 <http://www.gothamgazette.com/campaign2005> section
2. Go to "Find Your District" on the right hand side of the page.
3. Type in your address and zip code.
4. Click "Go."

On the district page, you will find a list of candidates running, information about their campaign contributions, candidate biographies, and an archive of news stories from the campaign trail.

You can also click on the link to the <http://www.nyccfb.info/debates_vg/voter_guides/general_2005/index.aspx> Campaign Finance Board's Voter Guide located on each district page for more information about the people running in your neighborhood.

District Attorney

While there are technically races for District Attorney in Manhattan and Brooklyn, the winners were decided in the Democratic Primary in September. Incumbent <http://www.gothamgazette.com/campaign2005/62> Manhattan DA Robert Morgenthau and <http://www.gothamgazette.com/campaign2005/63> Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes are running unopposed in the General Election.

Judicial Seats

New Yorkers will also elect State Supreme Court Justices, and judges to the Civil Court. In <http://www.gothamgazette.com/campaign2005/65> Manhattan and <http://www.gothamgazette.com/campaign2005/64> Brooklyn, voters will elect the Surrogate's Court judge.

Because judicial candidates are not allowed to take public positions on issues that they may rule on, it is difficult for voters to choose between candidates. The State Supreme Court has a<http://www.nycourts.gov/vote/> voter guide that provides some background information. The New York City Bar also rates judicial candidates.

Brooklyn State Assembly Seat - District 43

Residents of Crown Heights, Brooklyn will vote in a special election to choose a replacement for State Assemblymember Clarence Norman, who was found guilty in September of mishandling campaign contributions.

Three candidates are running to fill the space: Democrat Karim Camara, Republican Kenneth Cook, and Independence candidate Geoffrey Davis, the brother of former Councilmember James Davis who was shot in City Hall in 2004. (Read an article about the race.)

III. THE BALLOT QUESTIONS

(Read The Fine Print on the Ballot for everything you need to know about the four questions on the ballot.)

When New Yorkers go to the polls on November 8, they will also be asked to vote "Yes" or "No" on four ballot questions - two statewide initiatives and two specifically for New York City. The wording of these questions on the ballot is long and confusing. It is best to research each of them ahead of time.

Question 1: Amending the State Budget Process <http://www.empirepage.com/ballots.html>

This measure changes how the state budget is enacted into law.

Currently, the governor develops a budget and submits it to the State Legislature, which has limited ability to amend it. Under this proposal, the State Legislature would have greater power to shape the budget than it does now. This measure states that if the governor and legislature do not agree on a budget by the beginning of the fiscal year, a contingency budget - based on the previous year's budget - would provide the basis of the new budget.

Other provisions of the ballot measure would establish an Independent Budget Office whose members are appointed by the legislature and move certain items onto the general budget that are currently funded independently. (Read the <http://www.nyccfb.info/debates_vg/voter_guides/general_2005/ballot_nys01.as px#see> text of the question as it will appear on the ballot.)

Pro:
Proponents <http://www.commoncause.org/atf/cf/%7BFB3C17E2-CDD1-4DF6-92BE-%20BD442989366 5%7D/BUDGET%20REFORM%20FINAL%20REPORT.PDF> say the amendment will bring accountability and transparency to the state's budget process. It will encourage on-time budgets, while shifting some power from the governor to the legislature would bring New York into line with most other states.

Read "Vote Yes on Proposition 1" by Megan Quattlebaum and Blair Horner.

Con:
Opponents <http://www.manhattan-institute.org/rm/ECNY-09-20-05.ram> argue that this would almost guarantee late budgets because the legislature would only have power when no agreement with the governor can be reached.

Read "Vote No on Proposition 1" by Gerald Benjamin and Charles Brecher.

Question 2: Transportation Bond Act <http://www.dot.state.ny.us/>

This measure calls for New York State to borrow $2.9 billion for various transportation projects. Half of the money would go to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to help fund the construction of such projects as the Second Avenue subway and the extension of the Long Island Rail Road to Grand Central Station and for new buses and cars for subway and commuter rail lines. The rest would go toward road and bridge projects around the state, including some in the city. Voters rejected a similar measure in 2000. (Read the <http://www.nyccfb.info/debates_vg/voter_guides/general_2005/ballot_nys02.as px#see> text of the question as it will appear on the ballot.)

Read an article about the Transportation Bond Act.<http://www.gothamgazette.com/article/transportation/20051017/16/1620>

Pro:
Proponents say that the state's transportation infrastructure is in poor condition and this borrowing is a necessary investment in the future. It would help pay for much needed projects.

Read <http://www.gothamgazette.com/article/fea/20051017/202/1618> "Vote Yes on the Transportation Bond Act" by Jeremy Soffin.

Con:
Opponents argue that the state is already burdened with too much debt, and borrowing such a large amount of money will lead to more fiscal problems and higher taxes.

Read <http://www.gothamgazette.com/article/fea/20051017/202/1619> "Vote No on the Transportation Bond Act" by Nicole Gelinas.

Question 3: Establishing an Ethics Code for Hearing Officers <http://www.nyc.gov/html/charter/downloads/pdf/crc_ballot_questions.pdf>

This measure would amend the City Charter by allowing the mayor to establish a code of ethics for administrative hearing officers, who resolve citizen complaints and adjudicate a range of non-criminal matters, such as parking tickets, noise complaints and building code violations. (Read the <http://www.nyccfb.info/debates_vg/voter_guides/general_2005/ballot_nyc03.as px> text of the measure as it will appear on the ballot.)

Read an overview of Proposition 3.

Pro:
Proponents argue that this measure will encourage uniform conduct among administrative judges, improving the fairness, uniformity, and efficiency of hearings.

Read "Vote Yes on Proposition 3" by Peter J. Kiernan.

Con:
Opponents argue that an ethics code could be passed by the City Council or instituted by the mayor through an executive order, and that this is just an effort to block other measures from the ballot. They also say it gives no specifics about either the content of the code or the process by which the mayor will develop this ethics code.

Read "Vote No to Proposition 3" by Richard N. Gottfried.

Question 4: Adding Financial Management Requirements to the City Charter

In response the 1975 financial crisis when New York City nearly went bankrupt, the state imposed a series of financial management practices and created the Financial Control Board, comprised of members from both the state and city, to oversee the city's finances. Some of these oversight measures will expire on July 1, 2008.

This proposed amendment seeks to preserve many of the current financial control provisions in city law, including requiring a balanced budget, maintaining a four-year financial plan, limiting the amount of short-term debt, and performing an annual audit. (Read the <http://www.nyccfb.info/debates_vg/voter_guides/general_2005/ballot_nyc04.as px#see> text of the question as it will appear on the ballot.)

Read "The Fiscal Crisis After 30 Years" <http://www.gothamgazette.com/article/issueoftheweek/20051010/200/1612> by Joshua Brustein.

Pro:
Proponents of the measure say that the charter revisions would guarantee that the city continue to act responsibly after the Financial Control Board's expiration. (Read arguments for Proposition 4 <http://www.nyccfb.info/debates_vg/voter_guides/general_2005/ballot_nyc04.as px#pro>)

Con:
Critics argue that this is not a comprehensive solution. Without a specific, independent entity to assess whether the city is fulfilling its responsibilities, they argue, there is no way to keep city officials honest.

IV. THINGS TO KNOW WHEN YOU GO TO THE POLLS

Where Do I Vote?

Registered voters should receive a postcard in the mail with the address of their polling place. If you did not, try the Board of Elections' <http://gis.nyc.gov/vote/ps/index.htm> online <http://gis.nyc.gov/vote/ps/index.htm> poll site locator. You can also try calling the Board of Elections at 1-866-VOTE NYC.

Polls open at 6:00 a.m. and close at 9:00 p.m.

On their website, the Board of Elections also has instructions <http://vote.nyc.ny.us/voting.html#machine> for how to work the voting machine.

Absentee ballot applications can be obtained calling the Board of Elections at 1-866-VOTE-NYC, e-mailing a request to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Those who wish to vote by absentee ballot have two choices:

Deliver by mail: To be counted, an absentee ballot must be postmarked by the day before Election Day and must reach the Board of Elections no more than seven days after the election.

Deliver in person: You can drop off an absentee ballot at one of the Board of Elections borough offices by 9:00 p.m. on Election Day.

What Do First Time Voters Need To Know?

New voting regulations may cause confusion at the polls.

New Yorkers who registered to vote for the first time via mail after January 1, 2003, may be asked to provide identification, such as a driver's license, when they go to the polls.

Those without a driver's license can also offer a copy of one of the following: a valid photo ID, a current utility bill, a bank statement, a government check or other government document that shows the voter's name and address.

Those who don't have any form of identification or refuse to supply one will be allowed to vote on paper ballot, not in the machines, according to the Board of Elections. Those votes will be counted if they are verified to match registration forms.

The new rule is part of the federal Help America Vote Act, which Congress passed after the turmoil in Florida during the 2000 presidential election.

What Are Your Voting Rights?

The New York Voter's Bill of Rights guarantees the right to:

Vote: The right to vote includes voting for candidates and questions on the ballot.

Have Your Vote Count: Vote on a voting system that is in working condition and that will allow votes to be accurately counted.

Secrecy in Voting: Secrecy in voting will be preserved for all elections.

Freedom in Voting: Cast your vote, free from coercion or intimidation by poll workers or any other person.

Permanent Registration: Once registered to vote, you will continue to remain qualified to vote from an address within your county or city.

Accessible Elections: Non-discriminatory equal access to the election system for all voters, including the elderly, disabled, alternative language minorities, military and overseas citizens, as required by federal and state laws.

Assistance in Voting: You may ask for help in voting because of blindness, disability, or inability to read or write.

Instructions in Voting: You can view a sample ballot in this polling place prior to voting, and before entering the machine, you may request help in how to operate the machine.

Absentee Voting: If you will be out of your county of residence on Election Day, or are unable to go to your polling place due to illness or physical disability, you may cast an absentee ballot.

Affidavit Voting: Whenever your name does not appear in the official poll book, you will be offered an affidavit ballot.

What If I Encounter Problems At The Polls?

If a poll worker says you are not on the list, ask an inspector to verify that you are at the correct Election and Assembly District for your address. If you believe that you are eligible to vote, you can ask for a paper or affidavit ballot. After the election, the Board of Elections will check its records and your vote will be counted if you are deemed eligible to vote and were at the correct polling site.

The Board of Elections says that it has increased efforts to make polling places accessible for senior citizens and handicapped voters, but they admit that there are still problems at some sites. Voters who feel that their polling site is inaccessible should call the Voter Registration Unit of their local borough office for information.

If you encounter problems at the polls, call one of the following places:
- League of Women Voters Election Day Hotline: 212-725-3541
- New York Public Interest Research Group: 212-822-0282
- New York Civil Liberties Union: 212-344-3005.

For assistance in Chinese, Korean, Tagalog, Hindi, Khmer and English, call the Asian American Legal Defense Fund <http://www.aaldef.org/> at 800-966-5946.

V. THE RESULTS

How Do I Find Out Who Won?

On the night of the Election beginning at 9:00 p.m. when the polls close, and in the days after, visit <http://www.gothamgazette.com/campaign2005_ge_results.php> Gotham Gazette's Election Results<http://www.gothamgazette.com/campaign2005_pe_results.php>.

 



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