Gotham Gazette

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Campaign Finance Board

Campaign Finance Board

  • 3 early voting influx

    Early voting at a poll site can be a breeze (photo: @BOENYC)


    As election administrators across the state prepare themselves for a second, larger wave of mass absentee voting this fall, officials and voting advocates are encouraging as many voters as possible to take advantage of the state's in-person early voting option as an alternative to crowded Election Day poll sites and the uncertainty of casting a ballot by mail.

    Early voting, first launched statewide in 2019, will be offered this fall from October 24 through November 1 and gives all

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  • online voter sep

    Voter registration (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    A bill that would have made it possible for many thousands of New York City residents to register to vote online, which passed the State Senate but stalled in the Assembly earlier this year, is unlikely to pass before the general election registration deadline and would be too late to be implemented even if it did, officials say.

    The legislation, first introduced in the summer of 2019, would allow the New York City Campaign Finance Board to open the online voter registration portal it created

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  • voting in the new york of coronavirus

    Voting was again challenging in New York City (photo: Edwin J Torres/Mayor's Office)


    When Imani Clenance didn’t receive her absentee ballot to vote in the recent June primaries she, like many others, went to vote in person. But at her polling site in Harlem, she realized that her struggle to vote had only just started.

    After being given her ballot, she only received one page with Democratic presidential primary candidates on it, but no mention of the Congressional race in her district, District 13, that she knew from the Board of

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  • voting in new york during coronavirus

    What voters need to know to vote in June (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    The images of Wisconsin voters standing in line last month starkly illustrated how COVID-19 has triggered a health emergency for our democracy. Here in New York, elections have been postponed or canceled in response to the pandemic. We are taking the first steps towards voting in a new way, via mail-in absentee ballots. With all of these rapid changes, it is no wonder voters are confused about what steps they can take to cast a vote safely and help maintain the

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  • primary voting flcm

    Voters in New York City don't vote very much (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    New York has, in recent years, become known for low voter turnout, and while the arithmetic of getting voters to the polls has always been foggy, new findings shed light on both the details of the city's turnout problem and factors that impact which potential voters actually cast a ballot.

    Late last week, the New York City Campaign Finance Board released its latest Voter Analysis Report, an annual

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  • cast vote potus

     A new report looks at coronavirus and voter turnout correlations (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    Neighborhoods with historically low voter participation are among the areas hit hardest by the novel coronavirus, according to a new analysis by the New York City Campaign Finance Board (CFB), a factor that threatens to compound the crisis' fallout in low-income communities of color.

    Four of the five zip codes with the highest rates of COVID-19 infection out of

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  • voter reg day1

    Next potential steps for voting in New York (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    The following is an excerpt from the 2019-20 NYC Votes Voter Analysis Report

    Novel and frightening barriers to voting have the potential to upend the entire crucial 2020 election year in every state. The challenges of in-person voting during a pandemic are clear and significant. Elections traditionally provide a time for citizens to gather together in

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  • mashup six

    (l-r top) Richards, Crowley, Constantinides, (bottom) Quinn, Yin, Miranda


    After being postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak, the Queens Borough president special election was rescheduled to take place on June 23, causing broad confusion among the candidates running for the seat and likely a logistical headache for election administrators since a separate primary for the position is also set for the same day.

    The special election, which was triggered when Queens Borough President Melinda Katz was elected the borough’s district attorney, was originally

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  • voting

    Coronavirus complicates voter registration efforts & voting itself (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    A bill before the state Legislature expanding online voter registration in New York City has taken on particular urgency amid the coronavirus pandemic, its sponsors say, as in-person voter registration drives become impossible and New Yorkers are told to avoid leaving their homes but for essentials and emergencies.

    The New York City Board of Elections currently only allows an individual to register to vote online through the Department of

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  • de blasio coronavirus

    Mayor de Blasio delivers a coronavirus briefing (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    An employee at 100 Church Street in Lower Manhattan, where a number of city agency offices are located, tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week. Mayor Bill de Blasio has not disclosed the revelation publicly, even as city employees and members of the public continue to conduct business there.

    The information that a building occupant tested positive for the novel coronavirus came to city agencies from both City Hall and the building's management company,

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  • ballot ref

    Brad Lander and others in support of ranked-choice voting (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    City Council Member Brad Lander, a Brooklyn Democrat, is introducing legislation on Thursday that would close a loophole in city campaign finance law that currently allows groups to hide their donors when they try to influence voting on a ballot referendum.

    The city’s campaign finance law is fairly robust, having been updated repeatedly over the years to reduce the effect of big money on politics, including independent expenditure groups that seek to sway elections. But

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  • we power nyc nyc votes bmcc cuny

    A participant in #WePowerNYC (photo: BMCC)


    Voter and youth engagement leaders are launching a new effort to increase voter turnout among young people in New York City.

    The #WePowerNYC campaign was announced on Friday by NYC Votes, the voter engagement arm of the New York City Campaign Finance Board, in partnership with CUNY Votes at a summit at Borough of Manhattan Community College that included student leaders from more than 15 colleges and universities around New York City.

    According to NYC Votes, #WePowerNYC

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  • bill online voter

    State Senator Myrie, middle, is pushing his online voter registration bill (photo: @SenatorMyrie)


    Last year, the New York City Board of Elections hobbled a City Council effort to create an online voter registration portal for city residents, claiming it conflicted with state law. But the state Legislature may take steps to correct that situation this year by clarifying the law and allowing an online portal that would act as a test case for a statewide system slated to launch next year.

    The New York City Council passed ...

  • inauguration jan

    (photo: Mayor's Office)


    Candidates running for local office filed their latest campaign finance disclosures with the New York City Campaign Finance Board this week, showing their fundraising and expenditures from the last six months, and cumulative numbers for the 2021 election cycle.

    Next year’s election is shaping up to be highly competitive and consequential, with two of three citywide elected officials, four of five borough presidents, and 35 of 51 City Council members facing term limits. The city will elect a new mayor and comptroller for the first

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  • 107 123 c3560 1

    One PBA IE on 2019 ballot question 2 (photo via Campaign Finance Board filing)


    Just after an election where the issue became especially apparent, a New York City lawmaker is planning to introduce legislation to close a loophole that has allowed independent expenditure committees to shield donors when they spend money to sway voters on ballot proposals. The potential change in city law would bring certain donor disclosure rules in line with state regulations and extend other city regulations to what is already required for political spending on candidates by

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  • jack hts bus

    (photo: @Charter2019NYC)


    Just seven people trickled in from the rain to attend the information session in the Lower Gallery of the Bronx Museum of the Arts last Wednesday night. Despite the low turnout, the small group has the potential to reach dozens or even hundreds more people because most of those who attended represented organizations. They had come to the museum that night to gather information to bring back to their members about the proposals that will be on this year’s ballot, whereby voters will approve or disapprove 19 changes to New York City governance and

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  • jw jb db2

    l-r: Devin Balkind, Jumaane Williams and Joe Borelli (photo: William Alatriste & John McCarten/City Council)


    Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, one of three citywide elected officials, is up for reelection this fall, but it looks like the Brooklyn Democrat won’t have to defend his (albeit short) tenure so far in a public forum with his two challengers. Neither Staten Island City Council Member Joe Borelli nor nonprofit leader Devin Balkind, the Republican and Libertarian nominees, respectively, seeking to unseat Williams, has qualified for the first of two official,

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  • votes hard of hearing guide

    the CFB models its new voter guide (photo: Gotham Gazette)


    New York City is home to more than 200,000 residents who are deaf and hard of hearing, and they almost never vote. It’s not for a lack of will, but rather because of inadequate access to information on voter registration and candidates, according to city officials. To address that gap, the city is launching its first-ever voter guide in American Sign Language, a long overdue measure to ensure that deaf and hard-of-hearing voters are able to participate in the city’s democratic

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  • council comm hearing

    Council Member Keith Powers (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    The City Council’s Committee on Governmental Operations held a hearing Wednesday to discuss three bills related to campaign finance reform. Two of the bills would prohibit candidates convicted of felony corruption or misuse of public funds from receiving public matching funds and reduce the matching funds contribution minimum from $10 to $5. They are sponsored by Council Members Fernando Cabrera and Keith Powers, respectively. Cabrera is the chair of the governmental operations

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  • Johnson Kallos City Council

    Council Members Kallos, left, & Rodriguez, right, with Speaker Johnson (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    The City Council passed a much-anticipated, controversial campaign finance bill Thursday, raising the cap on how much public funding a campaign can receive and altering other dynamics of the city’s matching system. The bill -- the source of significant consternation over the past several days, particularly among likely 2021 mayoral candidates - passed by a vote of 41-6, with one abstention, and three absences.

    The legislation, which Mayor

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  • committee gov op

    Council Members Yeger, left, and Cabrera, right (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    Significantly more public funding of political campaigns appears on the way given legislation that the City Council Committee on Governmental Operations passed on Tuesday.

    The bill, sponsored by Ben Kallos, a Manhattan Democrat, aims to prevent corruption and increase engagement with local communities by adjusting the public matching funds system to allow candidates to raise only relatively small donations and receive enough public money to reach the spending limit in

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  • Ben Kallos City Council

    Council Member Kallos (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    A City Council committee is expected on Tuesday to pass a bill aimed at reducing the influence of large donors on New York City candidates and elections by creating the possibility for candidates to essentially raise all smaller donations and earn enough public matching funds to fully reach the spending limit imposed by the city’s campaign finance program. But the bill, which has recently been amended in a significant way, is stirring controversy as it heads to a vote, with accusations against

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  • running

    (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayor's Office)


    The city’s Campaign Finance Board is gearing up for what is likely to be the biggest and most competitive municipal election in its 30-year history. In 2021, 35 of the City Council’s 51 incumbents, as well as the mayor, comptroller, and all five borough presidents, will be ineligible for reelection due to term-limits, providing an inviting playing field for dozens upon dozens of candidates to seek elected office, whether for the first time or in pursuit of a promotion.

    Some candidates have already filed with the Board to

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  • voters new york city

    (photo: Edwin Torres/Mayor's Office)


    The tale of the 2018 midterm elections has, so far, been one of groundswells and precedents lending credence to the populist narratives that have come to characterize post-2016 America.

    In New York, anecdotes about crowded poll sites, and near-heroic efforts to cast ballots amid the congestion, were ubiquitous during and after the election.

    A report, published on Tuesday by NYC Votes

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  • Kallos City Council

    Council Member Kallos (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    The City Council’s Committee on Governmental Operations heard testimony on Monday on a bill to expand the public matching funds available to candidates under the city’s campaign finance program.

    The campaign finance system incentivizes individuals to seek small dollar donations when running for office, matching those contributions with public funds. Under a recent city charter amendment approved by voters, a citywide candidate can receive public funds at an 8-to-1 ratio for the

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