Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

 

voting

voting

  • 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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    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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  • de Blasio voting instant

    (photo: Gotham Gazette)


    Last Tuesday during the Ohio-12 special election, Americans found themselves angry at third party voters – again – for “wasting” their votes.

    This problem is not unique to Ohio: in multi-candidate competitive races, we see upset voters of one party or candidate hold others accountable for their loss.

    The blame should not be placed on voters -- it should be on the broken election system. Just look at New York City.

    New York City primaries are crowded fields, with sometimes with as many as seven people vying

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  • bobbt carroll presser

    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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  • GothamTalks commentary New Leaders Council


    Gotham Gazette and New Leaders Council -- a nonpartisan, nonprofit leadership institute -- have partnered with Manhattan Neighborhood Network to create a series of video commentaries by New York City civic activists. GothamTalks is short video essays submitted through the New Leaders Council alumni network, which consists of hundreds of New Yorkers working in advocacy,

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  • de Blasio voting election

    (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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  • 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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    (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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  • Eric Schneiderman

     (photo via @AGSchneiderman)

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  • Schneiderman voting

    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 voting 2015

    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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  • bdb speech flag

    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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  • de blasio register to vote brooklyn

    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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  • 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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  • de Blasio voting zoom out

    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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    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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    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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  • rangel voting congress new york

    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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