Monthly Archives: March 2017

Courtesy FYI- Sunday Voting Rights Rally in NYC

Sunday, March 19th at 2 p.m. at Battery Park in Manhattan.
Sunday’s (3/19) Rally to Resist Voter Suppression, co-sponsored by like-minded good government and community groups, highlights the urgent need to overhaul our restrictive and outdated voting laws, which make it harder for New Yorkers to exercise their fundamental right to vote at every stage in the election process. 

Albany lawmakers are currently negotiating the Fiscal Year 2017-28 New York State Budget which is due on April 1st. For the second year in a row, Governor Cuomo’s Executive Budget proposal includes critical election law reform priorities like Early Voting, Automatic Voter Registration at the DMV, and Same-Day Voter Registration (one-stop voting). However, lawmakers have yet to include any corresponding state funding to enact these proposals, making it unlikely that State and County Boards of Elections would embrace or even be able to implement these much-needed overhauls. 
After several years of failing to modernize our election laws, New York’s poor election turnout and shameful voter registration and election day administration issues reached a fever pitch in 2016. On Monday, March 13th, New York’s women leaders rallied in Albany to commemorate 100 years of women’s suffrage and call for funding and enactment of these reforms in the budget. 135 women and organizations, including NYDLC leadership signed onto a letter requesting that state leaders include funding to make these proposals a 2017 reality.
Despite New York’s role as a bastion of diversity and progressivism, New York’s track record in the area of voting rights is disappointing. In the 2014 midterms, only 29% of New York’s voting-age citizens voted—the state’s lowest turnout in 40 years. As other states have embraced modernization, technology, and convenient pro-voter reforms to both voter registration and election administration, New York has been left in the dust. We must do better. We must fight against voter suppression and restrictive voting laws.
Co-sponsors of Sunday’s (3/19) 2PM RALLY TO RESIST VOTER SUPPRESSION at Battery Park in Manhattan include Common Cause/NY, SEIU 32bj, the NY Immigration Coalition, TWU 100, Hispanic Federation, The Brennan Center, NYC Votes, Make the Road New York, 2 Hours A Week, Brooklyn NAACP, Womens City Club of NY, and Public Citizen (List still in formation). 
Please lend your voice to this widespread and long overdue effort to ensure that New Yorkers’ fundamental voting rights are protected and respected. A great step toward that goal can be achieved in the next two weeks if our leadership in Albany enacts these reforms in the FY 2017-2018 budget. become law Albany must fund them in the budget. The event information can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1244905385587799 

The New York Democratic Lawyers Council (NYDLC) is a coalition of attorneys and voting rights advocates who share the common goal of protecting each citizen’s right to vote by ensuring that all who are eligible can register easily, vote conveniently and without intimidation, and that all votes are counted accurately by reliable voting systems. You can learn more about NYDLC here and support NYDLC with your generous contribution in any amount here. 

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New York Ranks 41st In Voter Turnout In 2016

Capitol Confidential’s Matthew Hamilton informs us that “New York ranked 41st in the country for voter turnout in the 2016 general election, with just more than 57 percent of the “voting-eligible population” casting ballots, according to a new report.” The report was released by Nonprofit Vote and the U.S. Elections Project.

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NYC Bar Association Event Tomorrow: Yes Or No In November? Discussing A Constitutional Convention For New York

Wednesday, March 15, 2017 | 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Description:

New York voters have a big decision to make this November – whether to vote for or against convening a constitutional convention to examine the New York State Constitution. For many New Yorkers, this will be their first time seeing a constitutional convention question on the ballot; others may remember being asked that question in 1997 because in New York, every 20 years, the voters get to decide if a convention should be held. A yes vote would lead to an election for delegates in 2018 for a convention that would convene in April 2019. The delegates at that convention can debate whether New York’s Constitution—the document that determines the structure of New York State government and the rights of its citizens—should be changed.

This event will focus on the pros and cons of holding a convention and will feature panels of experts in areas including, among other topics, government ethics, LGBTQ rights, education, social welfare, and the judiciary. There will be an opportunity for questions after each panel. If you would like to submit a question for consideration in advance of the event, please click here. Additionally, if you would like to submit comments for consideration by the City Bar’s Task Force on the Constitutional Convention, you may do so here. Comments can be submitted until Wednesday, March 22.

Panelists:
Barbara Bartoletti, Legislative Director, League of Women Voters of New York State
Michael Cardozo, Partner, Proskauer Rose LLP
Dick Dadey, Executive Director, Citizens Union
Evan Davis, Senior Counsel, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
Henry ‘Hank’ Greenberg, Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig LLP
Helen Hershkoff, Professor of Constitutional Law and Civil Liberties, NYU School of Law
Adriene Holder, Attorney-in Charge, Civil Practice Legal Aid Society of NYC
Roberta Kaplan, Partner, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
Arthur ‘Jerry’ Kremer, Chairman, Empire Government Strategies

This program is the second in a pair of events the City Bar is co-sponsoring with John Jay College of the City University of New York. The first will take place on Tuesday, March 14, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at John Jay College, 524 West 59th Street.  The program will feature a reporter roundtable discussion regarding a range of issues and the historical context relevant to holding a constitutional convention in New York.  For further details and to register for the March 14th program, click here.

Sponsoring Association Committee:
Task Force on the New York State Constitutional Convention, Margaret A. Dale, Co-Chair and Hon. Michael R. Sonberg, Co-Chair (For more information on the Task Force, click here)

Co-Sponsored by:
John Jay College of the City University of New York, Office of External Affairs and Department of Public Management

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2016 Elections: Who Did Onondaga County Voters Write In For State, Federal, Local Offices? (Search 2,500 Votes)

Michelle Breidenbach reports on an interesting topic on syracuse.com:

“New York voters are writing in more candidates than ever now that they are handed a paper ballot and a pen to vote.

This is especially true when candidates run without opposition.

NYS Sen. John DeFrancisco, R-Syracuse, won an unopposed election in November. But there were 977 write-in votes against him, according to the Onondaga County Board of Elections.”

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NYC Candidates File Disclosures With Campaign Finance Board

From a press release:

 14 candidates in the 2017 citywide election cycle have filed required campaign finance disclosure statements with the Campaign Finance Board (CFB). All candidates for this election are required to file disclosure statements detailing their campaigns’ financial activity from January 12, 2017 through March 11, 2017 by midnight on March 15.

Additionally, three candidates in the special election in City Council District 9 (2017A) have filed disclosure statements. The deadline to file these statements covering financial activity from January 31, 2017 through March 9, 2017 is at midnight on March 13th.

Updated, detailed information for these candidates can be found on the CFB website’s financial summary page and in the searchable online database.

2017 Candidates

Candidate

Office

Net Contributions

Net Expenditures

Link to Campaign Finance Summary

Eric Armstead

Mayor

$100

$18

http://bit.ly/2jH693e

Kevin Coenen, Jr.

Mayor

$0

$29

http://bit.ly/2jcMt9U

Andrew Cohen

City Council

$4,375

$2,261

http://bit.ly/2anLnRO

Helen Foreman-Hines

City Council

$1,745

$248

http://bit.ly/2aR3x0l

Edward Gibbs

City Council

$789

$2

http://bit.ly/2a3F4nG

Cary Goodman

City Council

$175

$48

http://bit.ly/2nxIUtu

Thomas Lopez-Pierre

City Council

$2,985

$921

http://bit.ly/2a3ES7J

John Marano

City Council

$3,360

$1,683

http://bit.ly/2a3EWom

Steven Matteo

City Council

$43,289

$4,588

http://bit.ly/29PXfLi

Liam McCabe

City Council

$45,420

$8,831

http://bit.ly/2nxIB1Z

Mohammad Rahman

City Council

$2,845

$0

http://bit.ly/2nh3xhy

Jay Rivera

City Council

$0

$0

http://bit.ly/2mDp297

Nancy Tong

City Council

$4,170

$449

http://bit.ly/2mkR2N9

Arden Walentowski

City Council

$350

$62

http://bit.ly/2mkU2c6

2017A Special Election – Council District 9

 

Candidate

Office

Net Contributions

Net Expenditures

Link to Campaign Finance Summary

Charles Cooper

City Council

$3,088

$1,157

http://bit.ly/2jyiSpd

Athena Moore

City Council

$12,133

$17,832

http://bit.ly/2iECPJ2

Dawn Simmons

City Council

$2,737

$9,832

http://bit.ly/2jwr9My

 

Candidates may deliver statements to the CFB by hand, submit their filings electronically, or send the materials by mail, as long as mailed submissions are postmarked by midnight, March 15. Independent expenditures must also be disclosed at this time.

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NYC Board Of Elections Seeks $1.3M for Cybersecurity Measures; Employees Suspended

The NYC Board of Elections is seeking to protect its Twitter, Facebook and other technical operations, according to Rich Calder, who reports in the NY Post “the BOE is seeking $160.3 million from the city for the next fiscal year — a nearly $30 million increase from its current budget and $61.7 million more than a severely trimmed $98.6 million Fiscal 2018 BOE budget Mayor de Blasio has proposed.”

Calder also reports that two senior Brooklyn BOE employees remain suspended without pay  during an ongoing “internal probe into a mysterious purge of more than 120,000 voters during last April’s presidential primaries from the predominantly Democratic borough rolls.”

 

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NY City Continues Board Of Elections Budget Dance

Samar Khurshid reports in the Gotham Gazette that Mayor deBlasio’s budget proposal “allocates the Board of Elections $98.6 million. The figure is about $61.7 million less than the $160.3 million that BOE Executive Director Michael Ryan has projected the agency needs over the next fiscal year, which begins July 1 and includes the 2017 city election cycle.”

The article looks into the BOE’s request for more funds and efforts to improve the agency’s operations.

 

 

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