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Vote on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 5

Maya Jones | 10/31/2013, 11:54 a.m.
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The 2013 New York City general elections will take place next Tuesday on Nov. 5. If you are currently an unregistered voter, there are still a few days remaining to register.

It is highly encouraged for New Yorkers to not only help register people in your local area to vote, but to go out and contribute your ballot in the upcoming elections. The candidates have been campaigning hard, engaging the community on every topic, including racial profiling, stop-and-frisk, health care benefits and education to better the futures of our youth. Turnout is always a major issue, but voting can make a significant change to help transform and diversify city government.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s 12-year tenure has left a significant mark on the city's economy, with some saying it is now harder for small business to succeed. Many college graduates are still without employment because the infrastructure of the city is not as strong as it could be.

City Councilwoman Letitia James won the democratic primary runoff for public advocate, becoming the very first African-American woman to hold a position in citywide office. City Comptroller John Liu endorsed James after her win. Liu also endorsed Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio.

We need change,” Liu said. “We need a New York and a mayor who’s going to be for all people, and I believe Bill de Blasio will be that mayor that we need.”

In the Democratic primary, de Blasio went up against former Rep. Anthony Weiner and Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who was endorsed by Bloomberg. For weeks, de Blasio has held an enormous lead against Republican Joe Lhota. The second mayoral debate between Lhota and de Blasio took place at the CUNY Graduate School in New York City. Midway into the televised debate, the deliberation escalated into a name-calling, unfiltered free-for-all. The moderator of the debate, CBS 2 anchor Maurice DuBois, asked a question about de Blasio’s idea of universal pre-K.

“You say popular support will force Albany to raise taxes on people making half a million dollars a year or more from 3.8 to 4.3 percent. Gov. Cuomo says it’s not happening, it’s dead on arrival. If it doesn’t work out, what’s your plan B?” DuBois questioned.

De Blasio abruptly interrupted with an answer, saying, “We’re going to get taxes on people who make a half million or more so we can have a full-day pre-K plan for every child in the city, so we can have after-school programs for every middle school child. So we can bring our school system up to date, so we can lighten the burden of parents all over the city, so we can prepare our kids for the 21st century economy—we have to do it. It’s strategically crucial. People believe its fair to ask the wealthy to do a little more.” De Blasio mentioned the current safety of the stock market as an example.

Lhota lashed back in response saying, “Bill de Blasio doesn’t have a plan B, he just told you by talking as long as he did without ever giving you a plan B. He makes promises that he knows he can’t keep. We need universal pre-K, but we’re not going to get it through a tax increase. We need it and we need it now,” said Lhota.

There is a thin line between progress and change in the responses of each candidate when it comes down to rebuilding New York City’s economy. In a recent Quinnipiac University Poll, New York voters say they are more likely to vote for New York City Public Advocate de Blasio (68 percent) to Lhota (48 percent). The poll also shows that 30 percent of likely voters think creating more jobs should be the top priority for the next mayor, while 24 percent of likely voters say that education is the top priority, 20 percent want to keep crime rates low and only 18 percent of likely voters want to reduce the gap between rich and poor.

Visit vote.nyc.ny.us online to see if you meet the qualifications to vote in the upcoming elections. A printable application is available online. If you have a valid ID from the Department of Motor Vehicles, you can register to vote online. Polling locations throughout the city will be open on Nov. 5 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. `