Next week New Yorkers will go to the polls to vote for several important elected positions in the general election on November 2nd. If you are registered and able, it is imperative you participate in these very important elections. We cannot leave anything to chance, and we must do our part as citizens of New York City to ensure the political health of the city is our priority.
This election will have a major impact on the future of NYC. All New Yorkers will be voting for the offices of mayor, city council, comptroller, public advocate, borough presidents, as well as five state constitutional amendments which will be on the ballot. Additionally, there are elections for Manhattan and Brooklyn District Attorneys, as well as a number of judges depending on where you live.
As you research who is on your ballot, it is also incredibly important you educate yourself about the five ballot proposals up for a vote in the general election on Nov. 2. The ballot proposals include questions on the future of political representation in Albany, environmental protections, easier voter registration and absentee balloting, and how New York’s civil courts function.
If you would like to learn more about who is on your ballot as well as read the full text of the five proposals, I strongly suggest you visit the Board of Elections website at www.elections.ny.gov to find out more. For a bit of context, the five proposals up for consideration on your ballot on November 2nd all came from Albany, where your representatives in both the Assembly and the State Senate voted on whether these proposals would appear on your ballot. All the more reason to pay attention to politics at the state level and not just what is happening at the local level or in Washington, D.C.
For a fantastic summary of each of the five ballot proposals, I would also look at the reporting by Rachel Holiday Smith and Samantha Maldonado in The City. They provide detail about each of the proposals: 1) the redistricting process that state lawmakers go through to redraw the boundaries of congressional and state legislative districts based on the new population numbers reported from the decennial census, 2) broad rights regarding environmental protections, 3) removing a current constitutional rule that says you must register to vote at least 10 days before an election in New York, 4) ending a state constitutional rule that says voters must have an excuse, or valid reason, to vote with an absentee ballot, and 5) possibly changing the monetary limit on claims in the city’s civil court.
For an even more detailed explanation of the ballot proposals, visit www.thecity.nyc. It is important we pay attention to all parts of our ballot and our democracy. Sometimes a little research is required, but it is worth it.
Christina Greer, Ph.D., is an associate professor at Fordham University, the author of “Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream,” and the co-host of the podcast FAQ-NYC.