Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

 

voting reform

voting reform

  • 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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  • and cuomo westchester kc office

    (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)


    State lawmakers are poised to make a second attempt at launching the process to legalize automatic voter registration for eligible New Yorkers who interact with certain government agencies.

    Mirroring the auspicious beginning of the 2019 session, which in the first weeks saw a historic spate of voting reforms passed by the new two-house Democratic majority, lawmakers say another package of election bills, including automatic voter registration (AVR), is likely to

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  • Cuomo signs legislation

    (photo: Governor's Office)


    In the final weeks of 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo quietly signed a bill changing the way affidavit ballots are counted, an issue that roiled New York City last summer during the controversial recount in the Queens District Attorney Democractic primary. Borough President Melinda Katz, who had Cuomo’s endorsement, eventually prevailed over public defender Tiffany Cabán by just 60 votes, with hundreds of potential votes not counted -- votes that may have been counted had the governor signed the affidavit ballot bill into law

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  • senator mich giana

    (photo: Senator Michael Gianaris)


    At post-election oversight hearings in New York, where voting is perennially plagued by episodes of malfunction and inefficiency, it is not common to hear politicians praise election administrators. But praise for both the city and state boards of elections was one of the overriding themes of a Wednesday hearing held by state legislators, convened to examine the inaugural implementation of early voting in New York State.

    As officials commended both bodies’ efforts to adjust to a slew of new voting reforms in a short 10-month

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  • climate protest action

    (photo: Paige Polk/Mayoral Photography Office)


    2018 was an historic year for youth voter turnout across the country. Just not in New York. Nationwide, 31% of young voters (ages 18-29) made it to the polls. In New York, that number was about 16.4%, the second-worst in the nation in states for which we have data. New York’s young voters are not more apathetic than other states; instead, we have an election system that does not facilitate our participation, and in fact suppresses it.

    Our organization, Generation Vote, works to empower young

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  • votes president us cast 2016

    (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photo Office)


    Election officials in Queens are counting ballots in the District Attorney Democratic primary recount exactly as the law prescribes -- and it is an injustice for Queens and an affront to democracy. 

    After a stunning reversal of fortune that saw Melinda Katz erase a 1,090-vote gap after absentee and other ballots were counted, Tiffany Cabán is challenging the rejection of a small number of provisional ballots that she thinks will turn the tide back in her favor.  While there are many

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  • de blasio voting election day

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    On Monday, the 2019 Charter Revision Commission heard from election experts from across the country as commissioners consider three potential election-related alterations to the city charter: ranked-choice voting, redistricting, and democracy vouchers.

    The commission is in the middle of a year-long process of public hearings and private discussions, which will yield proposals to change the city’s foundational laws that will go before voters this November. The scope of those

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  • gov cuomo dna

    (photo: Governor's Office)


    For decades, the phrase “three men in a room” has been used to capture how the leadership of New York state government (the governor, the state Assembly speaker and the state Senate majority leader) in Albany decides in back-room negotiations what legislation lives or dies. Finally, this year, state government can remake itself much closer to the image of true democracy. Leaders in the Assembly and Senate, Carl Heastie and Andrea Stewart-Cousins, are for the first time both African-American, and one is a woman.

    This is an undeniably

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  • gov cuomo votes

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


    On January 14, the New York State Assembly and Senate made their mark on New York voting history. After over 100 years without meaningful reform, legislators passed six bills that will significantly increase voter access to the polls and the reach of their voices. On January 25, Governor Cuomo codified this historic expansion and signed those bills into law. Important legislative priorities such as early voting, pre-registration of 16- and 17-year-olds, registration portability, and the consolidation of our state

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  • express poll e poll book

    (photo: Elections Systems & Software)


    As Democrats in the state Legislature continue a rapid pace of passing legislation to start the new session, the state Senate seems poised to advance another round of election and voting reforms, including approving the use of electronic poll books to administer elections.

    Electronic poll books, used in at least 34 states and the District of Columbia, are a fairly simple but significant instrument in

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  • gov cuomo albany

    (Photo via the Governor's office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed a broad agenda of progressive legislation in his State of the State speech on Tuesday, accompanied by more detailed policy and budget books, including several measures aimed at improving New York’s democracy and increasing public trust in state government.

    Emboldened by full Democratic control of the State Senate and Assembly, after years of a split Legislature where Republicans controlled the upper chamber, Cuomo reiterated many of the proposals that he has repeatedly advanced in vain in

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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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  • mnn agenda ep2

    (photo: @MNN59)


    This is part of AGENDA 2019, a joint Gotham Gazette-City Limits project
    Find the rest of the series here

    mnn59 agenda ep2As part of Agenda 2019, the project from Gotham Gazette and City Limits, hosts Ben Max and Jarrett Murphy were joined on Manhattan Neighborhood Network by State Senator Liz Krueger, a Manhattan Democrat, and Susan Lerner, executive

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  • mxm logo

    Ben Max, left, of Gotham Gazette, and Jarrett Murphy, right, of City Limits


    December 5, 2018 - Max & Murphy Podcast: De Blasio Finishes Year 5 & The Push for 'Fair Elections for New York'

    wbai hirsh jw 400bMayor de Blasio is nearing the end of his fifth year in office, and in the first half of the show the hosts take stock of recent news surrounding the mayor and questions of his

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  • Cuomo democracy protection

    Gov. Cuomo signs legislation (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    This is part of AGENDA 2019, a joint Gotham Gazette-City Limits project
    Find the rest of the series here

    The 2018 election cycle in New York laid bare the myriad failings of the state’s political system that advocates and reform-minded elected officials have long recognized. Several candidates, many in it for the first time, ran competitive races on the backs of small dollar donors while

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  • voting booths

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Come January, Democrats will control both houses of the New York state Legislature and the governor’s office, and they have declared that after years of being stymied by state Senate Republicans, voting reform will be at the top of the 2019 agenda. But even before that new governing reality comes to fruition, Assembly Democrats, already in the majority by a wide margin, examined both voting administration and the broader laws at play during a hearing on Thursday in Manhattan.

    Though with looming new political

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  • de blasio voting charter

    (photo: Samar Khurshid/Gotham Gazette)


    The New York City Charter Revision Commission called by Mayor Bill de Blasio convened on Tuesday afternoon to collect expert testimony on ways to foster increased participation in municipal elections.

    Eleven of the commission’s 15 members sat at the hearing, which was divided into two parts, one focused generally on voting rights and election administration in the city, and a second centered on the ranked-choice voting system, otherwise known as instant runoff primaries, that may be proposed to voters later this

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  • fair vote sam

    Tuesday's press conference (photo: Samar Khurshid/Gotham Gazette)


    Several prominent Democratic elected officials and voting reform advocates on Tuesday assembled outside City Hall to call for instant runoff voting in citywide primary elections. Specifically, they said that Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Charter Revision Commission, which just began a series of public hearings across the city, should include it among the proposals it puts before voters on the ballot this November.

    Instant runoff voting, also known as ranked-choice voting, allows voters to rank primary

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  • Cuomo bill signing democracy

    Cuomo at Wednesday's bill-signing (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday held a ceremonial bill-signing, one of several since the state budget was approved, to tout the passage of new restrictions and disclosure requirements for political advertisements on social media. But the bill was a component of Cuomo’s larger Democracy Agenda, measures including voting and campaign finance reform that otherwise fell by the wayside during budget negotiations and seem unlikely to pass in the remaining months

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  • op ed carlucci

    State Senator David Carlucci, the author


    New York’s voting laws are woefully outdated and lag behind much of the rest of our country. Too many New Yorkers experience unfair and unnecessary restrictions when they wish to exercise their constitutional right to vote. Unsurprisingly, New York consistently ranks near the bottom in voter turnout when compared to other states.

    According to 24/7 Wall St., an average of only 59.2% of eligible New York voters voted in the presidential elections from 2000 through 2012. That makes New York 42nd among the 50

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  • Cuomo State of the State reforms

    Gov. Cuomo at his 2018 State of the State (photo: Philip Kamrass/Governor's Office)


    During his 2018 State of the State speech on Wednesday in Albany, Governor Andrew Cuomo spent little time on government ethics reform, but did address at somewhat greater length his proposals to increase access to the ballot box and change state campaign finance law.

    In sum, the “reform” portion of Cuomo’s remarks were relatively brief, though the governor did expand more on his proposals to change voting, campaign financing,

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  • 38198034236 bf971489f7 z

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


    Governor Andrew Cuomo on Thursday unveiled his “Democracy Agenda,” a plan to create more transparency in political advertising and require online platforms to archive political ads, protect state elections from hacking threats, and enhance voting opportunities.

    The 13th proposal of the governor’s developing 2018 State of the State speech, the advertising transparency and cybersecurity initiatives are joined by three voting reform measures that were introduced by Cuomo ...

  • polling place

    Polling place (photo: Samar Khurshid/Gotham Gazette)


    As New York State’s archaic election and voting laws continue to dampen voter turnout, the New York City Council is about to take a step to encourage participation. The City Council’s governmental operations committee will vote on Tuesday, November 14 to approve a bill allowing online voter registration for city residents, Council Member Ben Kallos, chair of the committee, told Gotham Gazette on Thursday. The bill is then expected to pass the full City Council on Thursday.

    “With the historic low in

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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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  • polanco bronxnet

    JC Polanco on BronxNet


    With candidates vying for votes ahead of New York City’s September primary and November general elections, many in and around campaigns know that the state’s antiquated election laws will, in part, ensure that a small percentage of potential voters will cast ballots among limited choices.

    One candidate, Juan Carlos Polanco, known as J.C., is currently the presumptive Republican nominee for Public Advocate and has released an extensive package of proposed reforms to New York voting laws.

    As a former member of the New York City Board of

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