Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Voter turnout

Voter turnout

  • 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 New York City booths

    Voters cast many absentee ballots (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Over a month after the June primary, the New York State Board of Elections has certified the results, which show a relatively large voter turnout aided in part by the pandemic-induced expansion of absentee balloting. Almost all of the primaries in New York City were among Democrats, including a number of hotly-contested races for the House of Representatives, both houses of the State Legislature, Queens Borough President, and more.

    The elections saw several

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  • voter aqui early

    Vote Here / Vote Aqui (photo: governor's office)


    This series on voter engagement in New York City is supported by the Solutions Journalism Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to rigorous and compelling reporting about responses to social problems.

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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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  • voter turnout New York City 2020 primaries absentee

    The absentee vote could trump the in-person vote (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    The New York City Board of Elections is reporting that over 765,000 absentee ballots were distributed to voters before primary day, June 23, vastly exceeding a tally of in-person votes in the Democratic presidential primary, which came to 471,000, with 96% of election precincts reporting.

    The number of absentee ballots returned is not

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  • Ritchie Torres Ruben Diaz Sr congress

    Ritchie Torres looks at Ruben Díaz Sr. (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    This story, and the series it is a part of, has been supported by the Solutions Journalism Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to rigorous and compelling reporting about responses to social problems.

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    New York City has had very limited success in the voter turnout department for congressional elections in recent years. For the 2018

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  • partii bowman

    Jamaal Bowman's congressional campaign attempts to capture some 2018 magic (photo: Bowman campaign)


    This story, and the series it is a part of, has been supported by the Solutions Journalism Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to rigorous and compelling reporting about responses to social problems.

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    After a massive wave of voters shook New York’s 2018 primary elections and subsequent state government, this year’s primary

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  • biaggi voters

    Alessandra Biaggi on the 2018 campaign trail (photo: @Biaggi4NY)


    This story, and the series it is a part of, has been supported by the Solutions Journalism Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to rigorous and compelling reporting about responses to social problems.

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    On the night of September 13, 2018, a wave crashed through New York state politics.

    For years, pressure had been mounting on the members of the Independent

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  • voting gen elect

    Voters will have greater access to interpreters at the polls this fall (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    The still-new New York City Civic Engagement Commission is set to launch a poll-site language assistance program for the fall general election, expanding on the limited interpretation services that are currently provided by the Board of Elections. 

    As required by the Voting Rights Act, the Board of Elections only provides interpreters to assist at poll sites in Spanish, Korean, Chinese, and Bengali. But New York City residents speak more

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • voting new york city

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    A year after the 2018 election cycle, when insurgent candidates and heightened political participation helped drive a wave of New Yorkers to the polls, voter turnout in the city this fall continued the trend. While still low as a percentage of registered voters, the 15 percent turnout was far higher than previous off-year elections.

    While many attribute the recent increases in voter participation to a Trump effect, the particulars of this year’s city ballot, including key items not present in the corresponding

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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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  • voting booth

    (photo: Mayor's Office)


    NYC Votes and the Voter Assistance Advisory Committee recently released their mandated report regarding voting participation in New York City, which skyrocketed in 2018. While the report contains fascinating analyses, it does not, nor does it seek to, delve into the role that people of color, in this case specifically Latinos, played in last year’s elections. But their role was definitely pivotal, and it particularly affected the New York gubernatorial primary.

    According to my own analysis, over half a million more voters came out to the polls in the

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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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  • de blasio voting

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Around 200,000 to 700,000 voters are expected to show up to the polls for February 26 special election for New York City Public Advocate, according to political experts and candidates for the office. Though the election is certain to be a low turnout affair, just how low remains unclear, with turnout dependent upon how well the candidates are able to broadcast their messages and push people to the polls, how active labor unions and political clubs are, and other factors, including the weather on election

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  • maybloomberg 73 special

    (photo: Mayor's Office/Kristen Artz)


    There was an extraordinary turnout in New York City in the just-completed statewide Democratic primaries on Thursday, September 13. In the city alone, 855,000 Democrats came to the polls. That vote substantially exceeded the crowded and competitive 2013 Democratic mayoral primary (690,000), was nearly triple the city’s turnout in the 2014 Cuomo-Teachout primary (298,000), and came somewhat close to matching the Clinton-Sanders turnout in New York City of practically 1 million Democrats (996,000).

    The good news about

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  • 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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  • 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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  • de Blasio voting

    (photo: Samar Khurshid/Gotham Gazette)


    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.

    In 2013, there

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  • 30833378216 dde865964a z

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


    A recent report 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,

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  • Schneiderman releases voting reform legislation

    Attorney General Schneiderman with voting reform advocates outside Federal Hall (photo: @AGSchneiderman)


    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.

    Standing with elected officials, good government groups, union members, and voting reform advocates outside Federal Hall in Manhattan, Schneiderman released the legislation, called the ...