Vivian Wang reports in the NY Times “The chairman of the New York State Democratic Party is pushing a proposal that would essentially neuter almost all third parties, crippling one of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s biggest political nemeses but also potentially helping conservatives.
The proposal from the chairman, Jay Jacobs, would quintuple the number of votes that a political party needs to guarantee a spot on the ballot in the next election. A party currently needs 50,000 votes for its candidate for governor to secure a spot for the next four years.”
Nick Reisman reports in State of Politics “Legislation signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday clarifies the process governing poll watchers on Election and another bill that is meant to ensure polling sites are properly staffed based on the location’s needs.
“Transparent elections are crucial to ensuring voters have their voices heard,” Cuomo said. “By signing these measures into law, we modernize our elections, bringing efficiency and common sense to a process that has been unnecessarily ambiguous for far too long.”
The poll watching legislation clarifies the process for how watchers are appointed for general, primary, special, village or town elections. The measure allows candidates running on the ballot as well as political committees three poll watchers for each election district and only one within a guardrail at any time.
Ryan Whelan reports in State of Politics “As has become par for the course, the fourth New York State Public Campaign Financing Commission hearing was largely about the bodies potential impact on third parties in New York State.
Critics fears at the Tuesday hearing in Buffalo were bolstered by a New York Times article published earlier in the day titled Democrats’ Secret Plan to Kill Third Parties in New York. The story detailed an email state Democratic Party Chairman and commission member Jay Jacobs sent out earlier this month, asking questions about raising the requirements for parties to gain ballot access in New York.”
In NY State of Politics, Zack Fink reports “The 9-Member Public Finance Reform Commission voted on Tuesday to prohibit public matching funds for campaign donations raised outside of individual Senate and Assembly Districts. According to one insider, this will render the proposed statewide public matching system “completely ineffective.
But here is what is particularly unusual about yesterday’s vote. Just last week, the Commissioners voted unanimously to allow matching funds for out of district donations. Of course, you can’t see that vote because the video from that meeting still hasn’t been posted on the Commission website, nearly a week and a half after the fact.”
Last weekend in the Times Union , Chris Bragg took a look at the inner workings of the state campaign finance panel: “Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo rejects claims he’s plotting to eliminate the voting system that gives significant power to alternative political parties.
“Yeah, I know — and people think there’s still a Santa Claus, and people believe in the Easter bunny,” Cuomo said in a September radio interview when asked about whether he was angling to upend so-called “fusion” voting.
Yet records indicate that in creating a nine-member panel that’s now ironing out major changes to state campaign laws, the Cuomo administration quietly inserted a provision that allows Jay Jacobs, a longstanding critic of fusion voting, to be appointed by the governor.”
In the Albany Times Union, David Lombardo reports “New York’s political contribution limits – some of the most lax in the country – could become more restrictive in the near future.
Reducing the limits was embraced at the Monday meeting of a special commission tasked with creating a system of taxpayer-funded election campaigns. ”
The article includes a link to a Brennan Center for Justice report recommending limits.
Karen DeWitt reports on NCPR “New York state’s public campaign finance commission met for several hours on Columbus Day to discuss the nuts-and-bolts details of how to implement a matching public donor system for statewide races.
The commission spent over four hours discussing how to implement a matching small-donor public campaign finance system for statewide races. They reached consensus on a few issues that give an indication of how the final proposal, due in December, might look. “
Denis Slattery reports in the NY Daily News “New York Democrats are preparing to change the way the party approaches gender.
The State Democratic Committee will vote Tuesday on a resolution amending party rules to be more inclusive of people who don’t identify as male or female.
Emilia Decaudin, the party’s youngest and first openly transgender member, pitched the shift as a way of leveling the playing field for gender nonbinary members or those thinking of getting involved in politics.”
In the Gothamist, Brigid Bergin reports “the New York State Board of Elections will be on trial in federal court on Tuesday, facing allegations that current state law violates the National Voter Registration Act.
The good government group Common Cause New York is suing the state BOE, arguing that state law makes it too easy to remove names from the list of “active” voters used at poll sites, which then leads to voters using problematic affidavit ballots, or becoming disenfranchised entirely.”
Denis Slattery reports in the NY Daily News: “Lawmakers are gearing up for an early return to the state capital if a commission they created moves to do away with cross-party nominations, multiple sources told the Daily News on Thursday.
The Public Campaign Financing Commission is charged with creating a $100 million public matching funds program for state elections and potentially addressing fusion voting, which allows candidates to appear on the ballot line of more than one party.”