About the Voters Directory
On Thursday, September 13th, New Yorkers will vote in primary elections to choose party nominees for Governor, New York State Attorney General, and the state legislature, as well as Lieutenant Governor, and judicial positions.
To help our supportive Citizens Union members prepare to vote in the upcoming primary election, we bring you our 2018 Primary Election Voters Directory. The Voters Directory provides:
- An overview of the 2018 elections, including voting and registration information and listings of every contest for all races that will be on the ballot in New York City on September 13th, 2018.
- A roster of Citizens Union’s preferred candidates in several key races, and information about the rigorous evaluation process and assessments of candidates.
We caution voters that there may be last minute elimination or reinstatement of candidates on the ballot, so the list contained in this directory may have changed since this document was printed.
For more information, visit the NYC Board of Elections website at http://vote.nyc.ny.us or call (866) VOTE-NYC.
In this packed election cycle, Citizens Union has evaluated 35 candidates in 17 races for Governor, state Attorney General, state Senate, and Assembly to determine who strongly supports our issues, can advance a reform agenda, and can best fulfill the obligations of the position.
Interview teams made up of Local Candidates Committee members assess the candidates based on their responses to CU’s questionnaire (a pre-requisite for interviews), research, first-hand knowledge of the candidates, and interviews with the candidates, which are approximately 30 minutes each. The interview teams then make advisory recommendations to the full Local Candidates Committee, which deliberates and makes recommendations to the Citizens Union Board, which makes the final decision.
A “Preferred” rating reflects a candidate that Citizens Union deems not only qualified for the office with a viable candidacy, but also committed to an agenda of positive reform. Please note that candidates not preferred may nevertheless be highly regarded, which is generally reflected in the commentary.
Citizens Union issues a “Preferred” rating in primary elections, and an “Endorsed” rating for General Election contests. A “No Preference” rating may result when there is insufficient information available, it is believed that the candidates are of equal merit, or if no candidate interviewed by Citizens Union is believed to be effective or capable of representing the district.
The following guidelines are used by the Local Candidates Committee and Citizens Union Board of Directors in the evaluation of candidates:
- Support for Citizens Union’s reform agenda shall be the primary criteria used in deciding its support for a candidate.
- Evidence of ability to wage an effective and competitive campaign shall be considered, but shall not be determinative.
- Ability to advance CU’s goals, if elected, shall be considered, but not determinative. Incumbents will be held accountable for their record of reform in office and shall be judged accordingly on the basis of their demonstrated support for CU’s issues.
- State, local, or community issues specific to the race’s jurisdiction shall be considered, as will candidates’ ability to grasp these issues and propose thoughtful solutions to represent their constituents’ interests.
- Evaluation of the candidates and the decision to support a particular candidate shall be made without regard to political party and in a nonpartisan manner.
REGISTERING TO VOTE
You are eligible to vote in municipal, federal and state elections if you are:
- 18 years of age (on the date of the election. You can register at 17 if you will be 18 before the election – Send your voter registration card in the year you turn 18 and it will be filed on your 18th birthday);
- United States citizen; AND
- Registered to vote 25 days before the election.
To vote in a party primary:
- You must be a registered member of that party.
- You cannot change your party registration to vote in a primary during that same year.
- Party registration changes must be filed 25 days before the previous year’s General Election.
APPLYING FOR AN ABSENTEE BALLOT FOR THE PRIMARY ELECTION
You may vote by absentee ballot if you are:
- absent from New York City (or your county, if you live outside of New York City) on Election Day;
- ill or disabled, or serve as primary caregiver for an ill or disabled individual;
- a patient or inmate in a Veterans’ Administration Hospital; OR
- detained in jail awaiting Grand Jury action or are confined in prison for an offense other than a felony.
Deadlines for absentee ballot applications and submissions are as follows:
- Mail your Absentee Ballot Application or Letter of Application by Thursday, September 6th.
- Apply for an Absentee Ballot in Person at your local county board of elections office by Wednesday, September 12th.
- Mail in your Absentee Ballot with a postmark by Wednesday, September 12th – it also must be received by the local board of elections no later than September 20th.
- Drop off your Absentee Ballot in person by Thursday, September 13th to your local board of elections office – a friend or relative can drop it off.
TO OBTAIN A VOTER REGISTRATION FORM OR ABSENTEE BALLOT:
- Go in person to your local county Board of Elections office;
- Call the Board of Elections at 1-866-VOTE-NYC
- Visit the Board of Elections website at http://www.vote.nyc.ny.us/html/voters/register.shtml
- Absentee Voting: http://www.vote.nyc.ny.us/html/voters/absentee.shtml
VOTING ON ELECTION DAY
The Primary Election will be held on Thursday, September 13th. Polls will be open from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. If you have general questions regarding eligibility or the location of your polling place, please call 1-866-VOTE-NYC. You can also locate your polling place online, including handicap entrances, at https://nyc.pollsitelocator.com/search
Under federal law, if you are disabled and choose to vote in person rather than by absentee ballot, you are entitled to assistance. You can rely on the election employees for help.
At the polls, if you are not on the voter registration list, it may be because your registration form was not received in time or was filled out incorrectly. If you believe that you are eligible to vote, you can still vote by requesting an affidavit ballot. After the election, the Board of Elections will check its records and your vote will be counted if you are indeed eligible.
CASTING YOUR BALLOT
Paper ballots will be used for casting votes, which can be marked using either a pen or a ballot marking device (BMD) as described below. Ballots are counted after they are inserted into an electronic scanner. The scanner will then be used to count the votes after the polling place has closed at the end of Election Day. A bin attached to the scanner will capture and keep the paper ballots as a record of all votes. This new process began in 2010 with New York’s adoption of a new voting system to meet federal accessibility requirements.
The process works as follows:
- Enter the poll site, sign in, and receive your paper ballot from the poll worker.
- Mark your ballot through one of two means:
◦ Go to a privacy booth and fill out your ballot with a pen by marking the appropriate ovals; or
◦ Use a Ballot Marking Device (BMD), which is available for those who are in need of assistance (see below for more information).
- Once done, place your ballot in the privacy sleeve, proceed to the scanner area, and insert the marked ballot into the scanner to cast your vote. Your ballot can be inserted in any direction.
If you make a mistake you can request a new ballot. If you mark your ballot incorrectly by marking more choices for one contest than you are supposed to, the scanner will notify you of an “overvote.” To have your vote count, you must obtain a new ballot and mark your choices correctly before submitting your ballot.
BALLOT MARKING DEVICE
Voters will be able to use the Election Systems & Software (ES&S) AutoMARK ballot marking device (BMD), which is mandated to be available at each polling location. Any voter, including voters with disabilities, may use the BMD to view or listen to the ballot in any of the required languages for that poll site (which may include English, Spanish, Chinese – Mandarin, Chinese – Cantonese or Korean). Voters may use the BMD to complete a paper ballot independently and privately on Election Day by using its ATM-style touch screen, Braille-enhanced keypad, sip and puff device or its rocker paddle. More information on the new process is available at the New York City Board of Elections website http://vote.nyc.ny.us/html/newway_en/using_bmd.shtml
To Research Campaign Contributions
NYS Board of Elections | (800) 458-3453 | www.elections.ny.gov
To Research Candidates and Issues
Citizens Union | (212) 227-0342 | www.citizensunion.org
Gotham Gazette | (212) 227-0342 | www.gothamgazette.com
NYPIRG | (212) 349-6460 | www.nypirg.org
League of Women Voters of NYS | (518) 465-4162 | www.lwvny.org
Project Vote Smart | (888) VOTE-SMART | www.votesmart.org
To Research Incumbent Records
New York State Assembly | (518) 455-4218 | www.assembly.state.ny.us
New York State Senate | www.nysenate.gov
This Voters Directory would not be possible without the hard work of members of the Citizens Union Board, Local Candidates Committee (LCC), staff and interns.
27 volunteer LCC members, 5 interns, and staff members formed nonpartisan interview teams and evaluated 35 candidates in 17 races for Governor, state Attorney General, state Senate, and Assembly. We thank them for contributing their time, energy, and expertise this summer to interviewing and evaluating candidates.
We thank you for your support, and hope you enjoy the latest edition of the Voters Directory.