Table of Contents
III. Our Criteria
On Tuesday, June 25th, New Yorkers will vote in primary elections to choose party nominees for Queens District Attorney, New York City Council District 45, and various judicial positions.
To help our supportive Citizens Union members prepare to vote in the upcoming primary election, we bring you our 2019 Primary Election Voters Directory. The Voters Directory provides a description of each candidate evaluated by Citizens Union’s Local Candidates Committee, their responses to Citizens Union’s good government questionnaire, 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 election cycle, Citizens Union has evaluated all 7 of the candidates running for Queens District Attorney and evaluated 2 of the 7 candidates running for New York City Council District 45. 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 Special and 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 shall not be 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;
- 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 Tuesday, June 18th.
- Apply for an Absentee Ballot in Person at your local county board of elections office by Monday, June 24th.
- Mail in your Absentee Ballot with a postmark by Monday, June 24th – it also must be received by the local board of elections no later than July 2nd.
- Drop off your Absentee Ballot in person by Tuesday, June 25th 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 Tuesday, June 25th. 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
RESOURCES FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
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
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. We thank them for contributing their time, energy, and expertise this spring to interviewing and evaluating candidates.
We thank you for your support, and hope you enjoy the latest edition of the Voters Directory.