Issues: Fair Elections

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End Gerrymandered Districts

  • Eliminate LATFOR: LATFOR, the Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment, is staffed by political operatives of the legislative majorities who work full time, year in and year out out, in secret out of public scrutiny, to draw bizarre district lines that enable the politicians to pick their voters and ensure re-election.

  • Establish an Independent Redistricting Commission: Establish an Independent Redistricting Commission governed and staffed by civil servants and charged with drawing districts that optimize the criteria of population equality, contiguity, compactness, and correspondence to local political boundaries.

  • Proportional Representation in the State Legislature: The current single-member-district, winner-take-all election system elects the candidate with the plurality vote and gives minority voters no representation at all. Proportional representation from multi-member districts elects each party's candidates for the legislative chambers in proportion to the votes that each party's candidates receive. Because the districts are multi-member and the results proportional, the influence of district lines and the possibilities for gerrymandering are minimized.

Instant Runoff Voting for Executive Offices: Elect statewide executive offices (Governor/Lt. Governor, Comptroller, Attorney General, U.S. Senators) by ranked choice voting. Voters rank candidate in order of preference: 1, 2, 3, etc. If nobody wins over 50% in the first count, the last place candidate is eliminated and that candidate's first choice ballots are distributed to their second choice. This instant runoff process continues until a candidate receives over a majority of votes. Under winner take all elections, voters have the incentive to vote for a lesser evil rather than their most favored candidate because they are afraid it would help the candidate the like the least. Instant runoff voting enables voters to vote for their first choice without fear of helping the candidate they most oppose.

Proportional Representation in the Legislature: Replace the two-party system of corporate rule with multi-party democracy. End single-member-district, winner-take-all system that creates one-party district and a two-party legislature. Adopt proportional representation for the state Assembly and Senate in order to give every party legislative representation in proportion to the vote it receives.

Public Campaign Financing: Full public campaign financing with equal and adequate public grants and no private money, not partial public campaign finance through matching funds on top of the old private campaign finance system.

Free Public TV Time for Candidates: Direct statements from candidates, as well as candidate forums, debates, and other interactive programming, for all ballot-qualified statewide, state legislative, and congressional candidates who opt into public campaign financing on a New York State C-SPAN (Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network) and on Public, Educational, and Governmental Access (PEG) channels included as part of local cable franchise agreements.

Ballot Reform: One page for each office or ballot proposition. Random ordering of candidates on each page. One ballot line for each candidate with all party endorsements on that line. A voter guide mailed to all registered voters, including sample ballots and statements from each political party and each candidate of up to 250 words.

Automatic Voter Registration: Make it is the responsibility of state government to register all qualified voters, with automatic voter registration for eligible New Yorkers when they visit state government agencies like the DMV, unless they choose to opt out.

Eliminate “Opportunity To Ballot” Primaries: The state election law provides for Opportunity To Ballot petitions to create write-in primaries where a candidate from another party can steal a ballot position from a party that chooses not to run a candidate in a particular race. This provision in the state election law is an infringement on a party's right to internal democracy and independence from other parties. The Opportunity To Ballot provisions of the election law should be eliminated.

Same-Day Primary Elections: Hold federal, state, and local primary elections on the same day.

Same-Day Registration: Allow eligible voters to register to vote and cast their ballots on the same day.

Election Day Holidays: Make election days state holidays to enable more people to vote.

Early Voting: Allow in-person voting for a designated period before election days to enable more people to vote.

No-Excuse Absentee Voting: Allow early mail-in balloting for a designated period before election days to enable more people to vote.

No to Top-Two Primary System: Reject elite initiatives to change to a top-two primary system, which is is an all-parties primary in which only the top two finishers stay on the ballot for the general election, even if they are from the same party. The top-two primary is an anti-democratic system that is designed to eliminate candidates outside the bipartisan consensus of the two-party-system of corporate rule in general elections.

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