The State Board of Elections has denied a request by the NYC Board Of Elections to use uncertified machines for early voting in 2019. Read the letter here: NYC voting system request 4-19-2019
David Lombardo reports in the Times Union “Supporters of public financing of elections in New York are keeping the pedal to the metal after making a lot of headway in the recently adopted state budget.
The Fair Elections for New York campaign is focused on the composition and procedures of the commission lawmakers and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo authorized to set up a matching system for the 2022 elections. The group wants the commission to be filled with reform-minded experts, not political loyalists, and operate openly with input from the public.”
In the Gotham Gazette, Samar Khurshid presents an excellent overview of the upcoming 2021 state redistricting process, highlighting the new advisory commission tasked with developing congressional and state legislative district lines to submit to the state legislature.
From the article: “Following the 2020 Census, New York will kick off the decennial redrawing of its state legislative and congressional districts to ensure equitable representation based on population. But the next redistricting process is untested so far, having been approved after the 2010 Census when New York saw a severe undercount, contributing to the loss of one congressional seat, followed by a redistricting that many observers and elected officials criticized for creating overly complicated state Legislative districts on partisan lines.
Looking ahead to the upcoming process, experts are hopeful, though uncertain, that the new redistricting method — approved by voters via 2014 ballot referendum — will lead to cleaner, more representative districts that improve the state’s democratic process once they take effect in 2022.”
In the drab downtown offices of the city Board of Elections for more than two hours Tuesday, open government was on full display.
There was the one woman who waited patiently until the end to make a formal complaint to remove a voter who registered at her Queens address, but who is actually living in Norway.
There was another woman who stood at the podium and was impassioned, but, well, also a bit incomprehensible. So it goes.
These folks followed presentations by two voting machine vendors displaying their wares. All in public, the way it is supposed to be.
Which is why it is very troubling that the Board’s two top employees wrote a letter last week to the state Board of Elections, “upon the unanimous direction of the Commissioners of Elections in the City of New York,” asking for permission to use a new machine for early voting that has not received state certification.
Hold up. The 10 commissioners have never had a public discussion on such an important subject. Private talks are a dodge around the Open Meetings law.
Of 11 weekly meetings this year before Tuesday’s, only twice did the board’s public sessions run longer than the closed secret session, which is supposed to be just for personnel matters and litigation.
The Board of Elections is there to safeguard our democracy on our behalf. It should act like it.
In State of Politics, Nick Reisman reports “Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone announced Thursday he will not take any ballot lines of the established minor parties in his bid for a third term.
The move is meant to make a statement in support of ending fusion voting, the practice of candidates running on multiple ballot lines.
Nevertheless, Bellone is still expected to potentially run on a created or “grassroots” ballot line that’s allowable under the fusion system.”
In State of Politics, Nick Reisman reports “Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins on Wednesday said she was hopeful a state budget deal would move forward with changes to the state’s campaign finance laws.
Stewart-Cousins after a closed-door budget meeting with Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said work was continuing on the issue.
“We are still working on campaign finance reform, election reform. We are certainly looking to move all of those things forward,” she said. “We know how important they are.”
Nick Reisman writes in NY State of Politics “The state Democratic Party today voted in favor of a resolution calling for an end to so-called “fusion” voting, striking the first blow against minor parties in New York that could eventually lead – should the Legislature heed this call – to a significant change in the state’s political landscape.”