Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

 

voting

voting

  • rosenthal absentee ballot mailbox

    Voting absentee (photo: @HelenRosenthal)


    A law passed by the New York City Council in 2016 could have helped prevent some of the many problems plaguing the absentee ballot process from the June 2020 primary elections. But that law was never implemented by the New York City Board of Elections, a quasi-state agency that routinely refuses to abide by local mandates.

    The June primaries saw a record number of absentee ballots cast by voters, facilitated by an executive order from Governor Andrew Cuomo that mandated that local boards of

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  • in person voting pandemic

    In-person voting during a pandemic (photo: Gotham Gazette)


    We should never have to decide between public health and democracy. We must have both.

    We hoped that voter suppression was a thing of the past, and yet it is still present not just in the South but in the South Bronx and across the country.

    We are witnessing a public health and democratic crisis that must be addressed immediately—otherwise, lives will be taken as electoral gains are also stolen.  

    In short, the coronavirus crisis has cast a light on the deteriorating health of

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  • boe nyc votes table pandemic

    Voting during a pandemic (photo: @NYCVotes)


    Ahead of a special state legislative session set for next week, a coalition of election reform advocates is backing ten bills that would change or codify elements of the now widely-used absentee voting process before the fall general election.

    The agenda, released Thursday by the Let NY Vote coalition, comes amid party primary elections where the voting is over but the counting

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  • 3 mount kisco gov

    Voting has changed dramatically in New York (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of the Governor)


    As hundreds of thousands of absentee ballots are being counted more than two weeks after the June 23 primary elections, state lawmakers are pushing a bill that would allow absentee voters to track their ballots and would require election administrators to provide an individual explanation when a ballot is disqualified.

    The latest effort to pass the legislation, which was first introduced in 2013, comes amid an unprecedented increase in absentee voting due to

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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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  • 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.

    **********

    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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  • early voting rally

    Register to vote by Friday May 29 (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    New York’s primary election is less than a month away on, June 23, preceded by early voting June 13-21, and with all eligible voters allowed to vote absentee due to the coronavirus pandemic. The deadline for new voters to register is this Friday, May 29 [Find more info here].

    There are state legislative,

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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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  • 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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  • city registers 30

     Students participating in Civics Week (Mayor's Office)


    In March, before the coronavirus pandemic hit, New York City held its second annual “Civics Week,” which sought to pre-register and register high school and college students to vote.

    Given the law passed last year by the State Legislature and signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, 16- and 17-year-olds are now allowed to pre-register to vote, with their registration kicking in as soon as they turn the voting age of 18 and making high schools more ripe for registration efforts.

    Gotham

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  • wasserman das facebook

    Christina Das and John Wasserman collecting petition signatures in March (Wasserman's Facebook)


    Two Brooklyn candidates say their names were removed from the June ballot for party positions in retaliation for pushing back against local Democratic officials asking them to canvass during the pandemic as one of them experienced coronavirus-like symptoms.   

    John Wasserman and Christina Das — who were running for reelection as 42nd Assembly District Alternative Judicial Delegate and Judicial Delegate, respectively — believe they were kicked

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  • cuomo announces

    All voters will get an absentee application for the June elections (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo on Friday, April 24 signed an executive order mandating that the State Board of Elections send every registered voter in the state an absentee ballot application with paid postage to facilitate voting in elections slated for June 23 without increasing the risk of

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  • 1 good advo

    Voting in New York is undergoing major shifts, with more possibly to come (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Amid reports that Governor Andrew Cuomo plans to allow or require voting by mail for all New Yorkers in primary and special elections set for June 23, government reform advocates have raised concerns that the measure could end up adversely affecting the election, while the State Republican Party has promised to sue if the governor follows through.

    The coronavirus pandemic has forced several delays in the state’s election calendar and in-person voting

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  • Cuomo voting New York

    Gov. Cuomo votes, in person (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday that he will use his executive authority to allow all New Yorkers to vote by absentee ballot for the June 23 elections, to prevent long lines at the polls that could put people at risk of being exposed to the coronavirus. Elections that day will include party primaries for many seats and special elections open to all voters within the relevant districts.

    “I've seen lines of people on television voting in other states.

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  • mbdb flcm co

    Major questions about voting during coronavirus hang in the balance (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    As the American people hunker down under a patchwork of evolving emergency orders and health directives, our communities are grappling with extraordinary circumstances disrupting and reorienting our lives and the economy. To flatten the curve of community spread during the increasingly deadly COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Cuomo has placed New York on PAUSE; Health officials have issued stay-at-home and social distancing directives; schools, playgrounds, and non-essential

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  • electeds yr

    Thursday's rally (photo: Samar Khurshid)


    About 1 million foreign-born New York City residents who have permanent residency status or are legally authorized to work in the United States could become eligible to vote in municipal elections under a new bill introduced before the New York City Council on Thursday.

    Sponsored by Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, a Manhattan Democrat, the bill (Intro. 1867) would extend the franchise to green card and work permit holders who can show they have lived in the five boroughs for at least 30 days. The bill is the latest

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  • Cuomo executive order parole

    (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor’s Office)


    More than 49,000 people on parole in New York had their voting rights restored under a conditional pardon order, signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, in the year-and-a-half since it’s been in effect.

    The Department of Corrections and Community Supervision told Gotham Gazette Thursday that 49,485 people have been re-enfranchised since the program launched in May 2018. Of those, 7,943 were later revoked, either because of a parole violation or a new conviction. Officials won't say how many parolees were not

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  • voting new york

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Looking at the plan from the state campaign finance commission, anyone who’s had even a passing interest in New York politics is left either scratching their head or gritting their teeth (maybe both). It’s no surprise that the aspects of the commission’s just-completed work that have provoked the most vociferous opposition and passionate debate have nothing whatsoever to do with public campaign financing. On the left and on the right, activists, lawmakers, and good government groups are decrying the elements of the plan

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  • gov cuomo casts

    (photo: the governor's office)


    Few New York elections go by without controversy, and this year’s relatively quiet slate has been no exception. As voters head to the polls during the inaugural early voting period and heading into Election Day, one major question that came up during the June primary continues to hang over the general election.

    A bill that could change the way provisional affidavit ballots are counted as soon as this year is languishing in Albany, having passed both houses of the state Legislature in June. The bill would make it harder to disqualify

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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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  • boe mahcines gg

    (photo: Gotham Gazette)


    In the coming days, the Board of Elections will select a vendor to provide voting machines to serve nearly 5 million New York City voters as part of the early voting launch this year. Unfortunately, the entire process has become tainted by corruption and ought to raise deep concerns to anyone who cares about the integrity of our elections.

    Over the past decade, New York City has paid $43 million to Elections Systems & Software (ES&S) for its poor quality ballot scanners and other voting machines. This is the same company

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  • elec apoll

    (photo: Gotham Gazette)


    If the 2018 election cycle is any indication, voter turnout is on the rise. Now is the time to take advantage of this moment to keep voters engaged in the electoral system and really give them a voice.

    One of the best ideas for promoting more diverse, open, and democratic elections is instant runoff voting (IRV). In New York City primaries, runoffs are forced for citywide elected positions when votes are split and no one candidate receives more than 40 percent of the vote. With IRV, voters rank candidates in order of preference. If no

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  • voting booths polling place

    (photo: Gotham Gazette)


    On Tuesday millions of New Yorkers attempted to exercise their constitutional right to vote. However, far too many in New York City were met with broken ballot scanners and hours-long lines that stretched for blocks

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  • and cuomo nov2

    Gov. Cuomo votes (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of the Governor)


    Election Day in New York City was, as City Council Speaker Corey Johnson wrote on Twitter, “like Groundhog Day,” where yet again, voters were forced to wait in long lines as ballot scanners across the city broke down, a sign of the abysmal election administration that New Yorkers have come to expect every time they visit the polls.

    The past few elections -- city, state, and federal --

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  • 30833380106 11c5de4882 h

    New Yorkers line up to vote (photo: Edwin Torres/Mayor's office)


    Close to 160,000 New Yorkers registered with the Democratic Party in the last seven months, according to the latest enrollment numbers released by the State Board of Elections on Thursday, compared with just over 22,000 voters who joined the Republican Party and close to 113,000 who registered but did not pick a party affiliation. In total, there were 12.7 million registered voters across the state,

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