The Race for Queens Borough President

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What is Searchlight on Campaign 2001?
Searchlight on Campaign 2001 is a guide to the political races in what many are calling New York City's most significant campaign season in modern history.

What is so significant about it?
For the first time in memory, most political offices in the city will be wide open to people who have neither money nor connections.

Why will the races be so open?
There are two reasons. This year, a new law goes into effect that limits the terms of New York City elected officials, forcing the mass retirement of most incumbents in the city - including the mayor, the comptroller, the public advocate, four of the five borough presidents, and 36 of the 51 members of the City Council. At the same time, a new campaign finance law kicks in, which allows any candidate who agrees to certain restrictions to collect four dollars of matching funds for every dollar they raise.

What does this have to do with this site?
As a public service, Searchlight on Campaign 2001 has a separate page for each race, including all the races for City Council, that not only sorts out the candidates -- many of them new and unfamiliar -- but also offers an opportunity to learn about the issues, and the districts themselves.

Who is behind Searchlight on Campaign 2001?
Searchlight on Campaign 2001 is a project of Gotham Gazette, a non-profit, non-partisan, non-ideological (but non-boring) web site about New York City news, policy and politics published by Citizens Union Foundation, part of the oldest and largest good-government group in the city (founded in 1897).

What's wrong with the way the regular press covers the races?
That is for you to decide. And one of our regular features, Campaign Trail, helps you to decide. Campaign Trail provides succinct summaries and links to campaign articles in the commercial press.

Who are we?


On August 22 the candidates for Queens Borough President spoke at a "Community Conversation" forum at York College sponsored by Citizens Union Foundation, Coro, and the Center for Excellence in New York City Governance. Carol Gresser, Sheldon Leffler, and Al Stabile met to answer questions from Queens residents (Helen Marshall did not attend).

Opening Statements:

Carol Gresser: Thank you very much, I'm delighted to be with you. I'm a teacher, I'm a parent, I'm a resident of Queens for over 40 years, I think it's the most fabulous borough in the world, I think that it's a shame that people think it's a drive-through to get to the airport, and what I'd like to do is make it a destination. I served as president of the New York City Board of Education, I have great executive experience, I dealt with the unions, I dealt with site selection for our schools, I had to be a consensus builder, and if you don't think it's tough to bring people together at the Board of Education and have them all move in the same direction let me tell you, my dears, I am so happy I am still coherent . It's a very hard job but it was a wonderful job in the sense that I got to work for our kids. All of our kids. I think I'm a wonderful advocate, a strong advocate, and it would be a great honor to continue to advocate, but on a larger scale for the people of this borough, and I really look forward to working with you and for you. I've worked my heart out for you and I look forward to being with you after January 1. Thank you.

Sheldon Leffler: Good evening and thank you for coming. I've been a kid in this community from the time I was two. I went to elementary school here at 150th street for eight years, just a few buildings north of Jamaica avenue just opposite King Manor. I then went to Jamaica High School from which I graduated. I come from a modest family from this community, somewhat typical of its time. My dad never had the opportunity to go to college as his father had died when he, my dad, was only 5. He founded a small wholesale di stribution business here at 147-12 95th avenue. He would get up regularly at 2 in the morning or earlier. So I know what it is to work hard in this community to establish and maintain a good life for oneself and one's family. I've gone on to, because I worked hard, because I think I have the values of this community, graduated with honors from Princeton, Harvard Law School, work in one of the nation's great law firms. In the City Council I've initiated, developed, gotten enacted 42 measures into law and an additional 92 measures as co-prime sponsor. I've made the city government work for people. I believe I've shown that I have the expertise. I have impeccable integrity. My purpose in this election is to establish a substantive and meaningful office working for the needs of all Queens residents so that they can establish good and meaningful life themselves, as I've seen happen with my family here in Jamaica over the course of a lifetime. Thank you.

Al Stabile: I'd like to start off with saying your college is home to me. I went here right after the Vietnam war, and I remember your college being a bunch of buildings scattered around Jamaica. Let me start off by saying Helen Marshall, Carol Gresser, Sheldon Leffler, and myself, all of us would make an excellent borough president. There is no doubt in my mind, all of us have the skill that it takes to make a great borough president. What is different is the way they execute the office. And the way I will execute the office is in your face. All the time. Every day. I don't want to sit and write legislation or suggest legislation. We've got enough stuff on the books that go on for another 400 years. I want to get the potholes filled, get the streetlights working, and make sure our schools are not overcrowded, and make sure our people are safe, and make sure everyone has the opportunity to better themselves. But not just better themselves economically. Affordable housing is very important. Public safety is very important. Education becomes the epitome of everything. Because without education we go nowhere. So I want to be a borough president that's going to be for real. I don't want to sit in an office and feel like you have to make 25 phone calls to get an appointment with me. I just want to be borough president with an open door policy. Thank you very much.

Q: Since 1999 there has been talk about universal health care. What do you project over the next two years related to the universal health plan?

Stabile: I believe the only way we can have universal health care is if all three parts of government be a part of it and contribute to it. We have to find a set of standards that are realistic standards. A lot of times we get pamphlets at our office, and they sound great. But can you actually put it to work. I get a lot of things saying about health care for everyone. A lot of health care need to me does not mean everyone. Because if you go to Jamaica hospital, you go to any city hospital, they want to see something. We have to get the federal government, who has the dollars, and the state, to work with local municipalities to make it a reality. Can it be a reality? Yes it can be a reality. Should it be a reality? Yes it should be a reality. We have to convince them , one way or another, that this is the only way to make it work, is by putting it all together.

Leffler: I don't expect us to have universal health care within the next two years. I think the experience in the early Clinton administration with Hillary Clinton has turned the federal government from having that ambitious a scheme. I think as a consequence local communities have to do their best to improve health care. I've worked closely with Queens Hospital Center, I've continually tried to keep it open, I will continue to do that. I have worked with different organizations to try to further AIDS education, as well as treatment for people. In addition I think it's important that we expand primary care coverage to our children, in connection with hospitals and otherwise. I think we have to do more preventive work, particularly in our schools. I think the real challenge is in our local communities here in Queens because I don't expect universal healthcare on the federal level within two years.

Gresser: Absolutely not in two years. Under a Republican administration we're not going to see universal health care, and I think we all know that. The federal government has to be a big partner, as does the state. It is not going to happen in two years. Should it happen? Absolutely. Every man, woman, and child should be covered. But, the political will to make this happen, I don't think it's there. I think all of us need to speak out, and become very vocal about this, because there are too many of our people, especially children, that are not receiving the health care they should be receiving. So I'm hoping that we can all work together for that goal.

Q: Economic development has been booming. However, this has benefited only a few developers and other outsiders. Would you create a level playing feel for minority businesses and how would you do this?

Gresser: Minority business owners and developers and construction people, contractors, women-owned businesses, are not doing as well as they should be, and we need to work together. But I think there needs to be a borough hall, an integrated economic policy that takes into consideration the people who live in their areas should be given a certain percentage of whatever contracts there are, and the minority-owned businesses in this area are supposed to get 17%, but I don't think they've ever been anywhere near that. There has to be a close relationship between borough hall and minority-owned businesses down here. And I can make this happen and I'm very optimistic about that.

Leffler: I do believe I can help promote economic development through the borough president's office. In part because I think I have the skills as a first-rate lawyer, someone that specialized in finance, my approach would be to try to do strategic planning in the borough president's office for the future of our individual communities, particularly Jamaica. I think we can create infrastructure, particularly off the air trade in Queens for the next realm of high-tech development, also commercial development, hotels, it has to be market-driven. Jamaica can be transformed in the course of the next generation so that the property within walking distance from here that was my father's business which is now a closed plant can in fact be used for commercial development, high tech development, and the jobs. We need education in the community so that the skills for doing this are passed on to our kids and that they can benefit from this. And I think the Borough President's office can through holding hearings, sponsoring legislation, and in other ways to promote economic development. Thank you.

Stabile: I think Jamaica has seen a renaissance in economic development . I believe 17% is too low for a community like this, that has the opportunity to get economic development through this community. Ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you a true fact of life. There is a lot of conniving going on. Let's open the pages and say what is wrong. I have a friend who's black. I have a friend who's female. I'll make them president, vice president. You want to know something? It never gets to the people in the community. They never get the jobs. They never get the opportunities. Do you want to see economic development? Do you want it to work? Lower taxes. Take away the tax burden on new developers for 20 years.

Q: How are we going to address the infrastructure issues that directly correlate to the environment? There are several water basins in our community, there are transfer stations that are impacting negatively on the communities. If and how would you attempt to alleviate this problem?

Stabile: First of all, transfer stations, the way they are being monitored right now through the city of New York is a disgrace to any community. It's not just Jamaica, but I could show you areas of Brooklyn, I could show you areas of Rockaway, where rats go in, eat garbage, and run away. There has to be a way to deal with this. The way to deal with this is building holes in areas where the containment can not stay overnight. Where it is something that is environmentally beautiful. We have to enforce it. The city has to enforce it. We have to make it where we have the buildings. We don't just put up buildings, we don't just put a fence. We have to make it beautiful, we have to make it nice, and we don't have to make an eyesore out of it. And we have to monitor it on a daily basis. And that comes from the Department of Health, from the Department of Sanitation, and the New York Police Department doing their job also.

Leffler: With the closing of the Fresh Kills landfill, disposal of trash has become a major challenge in New York City and will continue to be a major challenge. I've worked in that area since the late 80's, I was the author of the city's recycling law. I think we have to do more recycling, we have to clean up the brownfields in the borough so we can put the land to productive use for housing and for other purposes, schools, and some commercial development. What I think we should do is try as soon as possible is to move to the next stage and use the transfer stations on the water rather than in individual communities. This past Friday I was endorsed by the New York Conservation League of Voters which is a coalition which is the political arm of the environmental community in New York City so I think I can work with communities to maintain a good quality of life at the same time that we promote economic development. Incidentally, I do not believe there should be any fixed percentage of jobs, I am not in favor of any quotas, but I am in favor of the most intensive outreach, so that everybody is given every opportunity to compete for a job, I think more than has been done so far.

Gresser: Fresh Kills landfill was closed without much thought of how garbage was going to be handled. Whether it is a transfer station that's away from the water or on the water, it's going to be environmentally unsound until we come up with a way to transfer the garbage that is now having an impact on our environment. We have a transfer station in Flushing that is on the Flushing River and you can't get garbage from here to there without something leaking in the water and the real problem is it's not being addressed, there's no plan, and I think we really have to look at it now, and make sure that we solve that problem of how to transfer our garbage, because if we don't we're going to be faced with disgusting, horrible environmental problems that are really going to be almost too big to solve. Thanks.

Q: What agencies would you remove, overhaul, or combine?

Gresser: I would overhaul the Department of Buildings totally. I think it needs to be worked out from ground zero and re-done. Every aspect of it has to be looked at. What happens now is it begins anew, a rebirth, then all of a sudden investigations start, people start getting arrested again, and then we start all over. It just needs to be completely redone.

Leffler: As borough president I would seek to completely take over the Buildings Department in Queens under the borough president's office. I think what you need is somebody who will ultimately take responsibility in key areas. For building problems, for code enforcement, for illegal conversion, for traffic safety, and that's what I would propose. I think that the chief executive at the mayor's level and the city level has to be given some flexibility to set up agencies and have a structure that he or she is comf ortable with. At the borough president's level my sense is the Buildings Department has probably been one of the least effective agencies in Queens, it's one of the most criticized, and I would be prepared to take that responsibility. I think you genuinely need somebody with integrity to run that agency.

Stabile: First of all, the Buildings Department is a mayoral agency. So being a mayoral agency, it does not come under direct control of the borough president. The borough president has the right to pick or the right to choose or the right to suggest who they would like to be the commissioner or the deputy commissioner. No borough president would have the total right to say before any mayor, no matter who it is, that this is exactly what I want. Let me just touch on two things that are very important. We talked about the Port Authority, Transit Authority, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, you know, we're talking about things that we're getting nothing out of. We have two major airports in Queens, and what are we getting out of it besides noise and pollution? What else are we getting out of it? What are they doing? All of a sudden now they decide to build something in Rockaway after so many years. Sorry, my time is up.

Q: What would you plan to do to increase and improve opportunities for young people in southern Queens?

Leffler: The bottom result of all that government does is that it has to be useful for people. And the people that need it perhaps the most are the young people 18 to 23. Giving a good education is fundamental so people have the skills to take advantage of the economy in New York City, the economy we hope to grow in Queens. As I said, I will lead the strategic planning. The borough president's office runs hundreds of organizations. Youth, cultural, religious, seniors, and the like. What we need to do is have a borough president's office that works with communities, that works with people, that plans for the future. We can also get the private sector involved, they can donate computers to all the kids, that would be important. I think working with communities is important and I would certainly do my best to substantially increase funding in these areas for young people in southeast Queens.

Stabile: The first thing I would have to do as borough president of Queens is form an agency: Jobs for Youth. Not just an agency that has a fluffy name and looks pretty, everyone wears a nice white shirt and tie every day, not just that way. I'd form an agency that is going to put pressure on the Port Authority, pressure on agencies in the city for jobs. Pressure that has to be met. You want to occupy our borough? You want to have two major airports? You supply jobs. And we want the training for the job and the education to follow it. Not just talking. Do it, and do it now. Don't tell me you're going to donate $10,000 to your college, that doesn't solve the problem. That $10,000 is not do a damn thing for the young men and women on the street. That is not the answer. The answer is giving them the opportunity to make a living.

Gresser: As borough president of Queens I would fund a training program for youth in this borough, and what we have to do, I've been hearing it over and over again, is return job training to the high schools. Do you remember when we trained kids to be mechanics if they wanted to be? We had the opportunity to learn how to do a job. And I keep hearing, whenever I go to a community, that this is what we need to do. Yes, teach them all these things, the reading, the math, the skills, but we also need to teach them how to do a job, and I would love to see that return to our high schools, and I also think we need to establish a training program. It's a shame that 37% of people this age (18-23) are unemployed in Queens.

Closing Statements

Gresser: I am the only person in the city of New York in 1994, April, to stand up to Rudy Giuliani when he started cutting the budget for our kids. I believe in standing up for your principles, even if you're out there all by yourself. I will fight for the people in this borough. I am intelligent, I have integrity, and I am independent. I am not the machine candidate, I am your candidate. I will serve you. I will work with you. I think that I can make a great difference. I love the job of being an advocate, and I hope to be your advocate. Thank you.

Leffler: What I bring to the office of borough president is the same approach you've seen me follow over twenty-three and a half years on the City Council. And that is decision-making based on the merits, in the public interest, to the extent possible without politics. Not doing what's good for me, my wife, my political allies, but what's in your interest. The general public interest. Because I've sought to advance and have advanced the well-being of the public over these years with such major laws as the CCRB, gun locks, closing down apartment house incinerators, preventing de-activation of the fire alarm boxes, the enhanced 911 system. You can trust me to work exclusively for projects and services that you care about, that are important to your livelihoods, pocketbooks, homes and children, and get positive results that benefit you. To a significant extent this job is like that of a councilmember in that it's what you make of it. And I submit and I expect that good-government groups will find that I've gotten more done in my job than any of my opponents in the Democratic party. Thank you.

Stabile: I am the one who called Rudolph Giuliani Mussolini. I am the one who had the guts and the courage, when he wanted to stop the Legal Aid Society from striking, he wanted to fire them, I was the one who had the guts to call him Mussolini. My whole objective is this: I want the private sector, the big-money people, who are operating in this city, who are building in this city, passing the money down to the people where it belongs. I am tired of Queens Boulevard saying no to projects that are going to benef it our children, our seniors, and give affordable housing to everyone. That's the main issue. Nobody deserves to live in a gutter on the street. Nobody in this city, and nobody in this borough. Nobody deserves that.

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Find what city council district you are in -- and learn more about what's going on there, and who's running.

What is this?
Gotham Gazette's Searchlight on Campaign 2001 offers a comprehensive look at what is being called New York City's most significant campaign season in modern history. (See the left-hand column for an explanation).

Districts of the Week

District 1 -- Lower Manhattan
Whoever wins the election in district 1 will represent immigrant Chinese garment workers, as well as Wall Street traders living in Battery Park City. There are several candidates hoping to be the council's firsts -- the first Asian-American man, the first Asian-American woman, the first gay Rhodes Scholar, the first dot-com guru -- running against some politically well connected opponents. Endorsements and fundraising will play a big role in this race. But voter turnout could be the main determinant of who will next represent district 1 on the council. The key question is how many voters from each community will come out on Election Day.

District 7 -- Washington Heights, Manhattan
The northern tip of Manhattan has become one of the most popular places for new immigrants to call home. The northern tip of Manhattan is a place that today's new immigrants call home. The majority have come from the Dominican Republic, but also from countries in South America, Eastern Europe, and Asia. But it is not just new immigrants that are moving in. Students, artists, and other Manhattanites looking for less expensive rents and larger apartments have also moved north. Ten Democratic candidates are competing for the 15,000 voters expected on primary day. The winner who emerges from a crowded field of candidates will have to balance the needs of the newcomers with those who have lived there for years.

District 16 -- Highbridge, Bronx
The neighborhoods of district 16 are the city's poorest, with the highest rate of unemployment and the lowest median household income. But those who live there also point out that much is positive and stable about the area, thanks in large part to local organizations, not-for-profit agencies, and houses of worship that help hold the neighborhoods together. Each candidate for City Council believes that through his or her connections to churches and local organizations, they can help empower the community toward a better life. Helen Foster, the current council member daughter, will face Michael Benjamin, who has worked as an aide to several government officials and Anthony Curry, a Bronx neighborhood activist.

District 20 -- Northeast Flushing, Queens
This year district 20 may elect the first Asian-American ever to the City Council to an area which now has the second highest number of immigrants from Korea and Taiwan in the city. There are three Asian candidates in the Democratic race who have each drawn big endorsements. Council Speaker Peter Vallone endorsed Terence Park, City Comptroller Alan Hevesi endorsed John Liu, and the New York Times recently endorsed Ethel Chen The campaign has also drawn national and international press coverage

District 25 -- Jackson Heights, Queens
Thirty-seventh Avenue in Jackson Heights, Queens is one of the most diverse streets in the world. Little India quickly blends into Little Colombia, with vendors selling Latin American food to Colombians, Peruvians, Ecuadorians, Mexicans, and Uruguayans. And each summer, the Queens Pride Parade fills the same street with rainbow banners. So it is no surprise that this election year the district produced a diverse field of candidates. A number of them, however, found out that getting on the ballot is not an easy task, especially when the Queens Democratic organization sends teams of lawyers to challenge petitions. But five Democratic candidates survived and will face off on September 11.

District 31 -- South East Queens
When a heavy rain hits southeast Queens, many residents in neighborhoods like Springfield Gardens, Laurelton and Rosedale head to the basement with a bucket in hand. And it has been that way for the last 50 years. In the rush to build housing in the area after World War II, developers overlooked the need for storm drains in hopes that the city would eventually build a city-wide sewer system. The plan never materialized and the area has experienced "100-year rains" three times in the last decade. The eight Democrats -- all with little experience overseeing massive infrastructure projects--will try to convince voters that they can finally solve the flooding problems.

District 35 -- Central Brooklyn
The residents in council district 35 have some of the highest incomes in Brooklyn and some of the lowest. They can play in a famous park and a beautiful botanical garden, and live in the city's most crumbling public housing. They can attend one of the four institutions of higher learning in the district, and the worst-scoring high schools in the city. Such juxtapositions are a way of life for a district that includes the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens; mid dle-class African-American communities near Prospect Park; immigrant communities from Haiti, Sierra Leon, Nigeria, and Trinidad, and in Crown Heights, a mix of Hasidic Jews and African-Americans. Seven Democratic candidates are campaigning in hopes that they can bring some kind of unity, and attention, to the area. Their backgrounds are as diverse as the neighborhoods themselves.

District 39 -- Park Slope/Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn
The candidates in district 39 include a chief of staff for an Assemblywoman, the husband of a member of U.S. Congress, a lawyer for the Legal Aid Society, an attorney and president of the Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats, Senator Hillary Clinton's campaign manager, the district manager of Community Board 6, and a labor organizer. This is the race to watch this year. The group of high-profile Democrats have raised a lot of money, almost $1.4 million combined.

District 45 -- East Flatbush
In no place in the city are the effects of campaign finance reform and term limits being felt more than in East Flatbush. The seven Democratic candidates seeking to represent this largely West Indian district come from a number of Caribbean nations. Many have been working on politicians' staffs and serving with community groups, clearly hoping someday to win their own elected office. Term limits has presented them with that opportunity, and they want to make the most of it. But this race that usually draws only about 8,000 voters could be decided by just a few votes. The candidates are attempting to come up with anything that will separate them from the pack.

District 49 -- North Shore, Staten Island
Staten Island has always been somewhat of a suburban stepchild to New York City. When a 1998 survey asked New Yorkers why they go to Staten Island, the top two responses were ''visiting friends and relatives" and ''passing through.'' But in many ways, the north shore has more in common with areas of Manhattan and Brooklyn than with the rest of the Staten Island. The top priority for all the candidates -- Jon Del Giorno, an administrative manager for the Board of Elections, Mike McMahon, an attorney and counsel to current Councilmember Jerome O'Donovan, and Debi Rose, an administrator at the College of Staten Island and the first African-American candidate in Staten Island politics -- is to make sure that the island becomes more than just a turn-around-point for the over one million tourists who ride the free ferry from Manhattan each year.

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Links You Can Use

Government sites
NYC Campaign Finance Bd.
NYC Board of Elections
NYC Voter Assistance Comm.
NY City Council
Federal Election Comm.

Local non-partisan sites
NY League of Women Voters
Common Cause New York

National non-partisan sites
Ctr. for Responsive Politics
Common Cause
League of Women Voters

NAACP Voter Empowerment
Vote Smart


Political consultants
Amer. Assc. of Pol. Consultants

Prime New York

Gotham Gazette
The Empire Page
Campaigns and Elections
Legislative Gazette

Political columnists
Andrea Bernstein
Joe Conason
Mario Cuomo (radio)
Rudy Giuliani (radio)
Clyde Haberman
Nat Hentoff

Joseph Mercurio
Joyce Purnick
John Tierney
Michael Tomasky

Political parties
Right to Life
Working Families
Marijuana Reform
Natural Law Party
Taxpayers Party

Political clubs and groups
Blueprint Camp. Finance Reform
Central Queens Greens
The Jefferson Democratic Club of Flushing
NY Young Republican Club
Stonewall Democratic Club
Village Independent Dems.

Abbreviations for Party Affiliation

American Dream Party (AMD)
Better Schools Party (BES)
Communist (Com)
Conservative (Con)
Constitution (CST)
Democratic (Dem)
Friends United Party (FUN)
Fusion Party (FUS)
Green (Gre)
Harmony Party (HAR)
Independence (Ind)
Liberal (Lib)
Libertarian (LBT)
Marijuana Reform Party (POT)
Natural Law Party (NLP)
Party of Ethics and Traditions (PET)
Reform Party (Ref)
Republican (Rep)
Right to Life (RTL)
School Choice Party (Sch)
Socialist Workers Party (SWP)
Working Families (Wor)

2001 Election Calendar

June 1 -- Deadline for candidates to join the Campaign Finance program, qualifying for the four-to-one match of contributions.
June 5 - First day for candidates from the eight major parties (Democratic, Republican, Indpendence, Conservative, Liberal, Green, Working Families, and Right to Life) to circulate petitions. Candidates running for City Council must collect the signatures of at least 900 people living in the district for which they are running in order to appear on the Primary ballot. Candidates not running under these eight major parties do not appear on the Primary ballot and have a separate set of deadlines.
July 12 - Deadline for major party candidates to file petitions.
July 10 - First day for unaffiliated candidates to circulate petitions, in order to appear on the ballot in the General Election. They must collect the number of signatures equal to five percent of the total enrolled in that party.
August 7 - Board of Elections announces candidates appearing on the Primary ballot.
August 17 - Last day for non-absentee voters to register to vote in the Primary Election.
August 21 - Deadline for non-major party candidates to file petitions to be included on the General Election ballot.
September 4 - Last day to postmark application for absentee voting in the Primary
September 10 - Last day to personally deliver application for absentee voting in the Primary Last day to postmark absentee ballot for Primary
September 11 - Primary election; Polls open at 6:00a.m. and close at 9:00p.m.; Absentee ballots must be hand-delivered by 9:00 p.m.
September 25 - Runoff Primary election for Mayor, Comptroller and Public Advocate, if needed
October 12 - Last day to for non-absentee voters to register to vote in the General Election
October 30 - Last day to postmark application for absentee voting in the General Election
November 5 - Last day to hand-deliver an application for absentee voting, or to postmark an absentee ballot for the General Election.
November 6 - General Election; polls open at 6:00a.m. and close at 9:00p.m. in NYC; Absentee ballots must be hand-delivered by 9:00 p.m.

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