New York City’s Board of Elections noted a low voter turnout for the June primary and a declining participation rate over the last few years.
There’s a good reason why. The BOE closed a number of polling sites because they were deemed inaccessible to handicapped voters under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Sending absentee ballots to disabled voters instead of closing polling sites for everyone makes more sense. Closing polling sites disenfranchises thousands for the sake of a few.
Kew Gardens Hills voters lost their chance to cast ballots at a conveniently located site when the BOE abandoned PS 164 over two years ago.
Unless the BOE corrects this situation, its initials really stand for Barrel of Errors.
Councilman Danny Dromm, center, announces the reopening of PS 69 and the Renaissance Charter School as polling sites with Jackson Heights resident Abby Drucker and Board of Elections Executive Director Michael Ryan.
Councilman Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights), Board of Elections Executive Director Michael Ryan and residents celebrated the reopening of two polling sites in Jackson Heights on April 9, after they had been shuttered for about two years.
The BOE had changed polling sites for the 46th and 47th Election Districts in the 39th Assembly District from PS 69 on 37th Avenue to PS 222 on the same street about a half mile away. In addition, Renaissance Charter School on 81st Street had also been closed.
Colin Jost, who with Cecily Strong succeeded Seth Meyers at the “Saturday Night Live” Weekend Update desk, quipped, “Monday was Opening Day for baseball and a reopening of old wounds for Mets fans!”
As angry as Mets fans had to have been on March 31 watching their heroes fail to hold a one-run lead with two outs in the ninth inning, their spirits must have truly sunk the next day over the news that the team’s closer, Bobby Parnell, would go on the disabled list because of a ligament tear in his pitching elbow.
(BPT) - For every new computer, gadget or service there are several different stages of ownership. Unfortunately, the first and happiest phase - the honeymoon - doesn’t last forever. Eventually, devices can slow, services get outdated, and in the end, the ailing technology begins to work against you.
In an unusual show of discord, a Community Board 5 vote came down to the wire.
Members weren’t voting on a headline issue like a homeless shelter or an arts center looking for a liquor license. Instead, a longtime Italian-American street fair was the subject of debate.
Maybe alternate-side parking rules will come back into effect before the daffodils start blooming.
In Western Queens, 2013 was the year of development and affordable housing. Willets Point, Hallets Point, Hunters Point and 5Pointz became names commonly thrown around by politicians, community boards and civic groups throughout the area. There wasn’t a month that didn’t go by when residents, electeds and developers went head to head on major development projects, illegal apartments, a massive soccer stadium plan or even the possible closing of their neighborhood movie theater.
While the voting process was plagued with issues throughout some parts of the city, the election at polling sites in the 30th Council District went on almost without a hitch on Tuesday night, with only a few minor problems reported.
Many voters exiting PS 49 and PS 128 between 6 and 8 p.m. said that they experienced no issues when they cast their ballot. Turnout in the area was also greater than some voters and election volunteers had expected.
The runoff election for New York City public advocate on October 1st drew only about 6.5 percent of registered Democrats citywide. The election cost about $13 million. This works out to about $70 for every vote cast.
When I went to vote at my polling place in Bayside, there were five people at the table, with four interpreters sitting in an adjacent lobby, plus one person directing voters to the table site. Ten people for one election district. Repeat that similar scenario in all five boroughs and one can see how the cost added up for this low-turnout election.
This system needs to be overhauled. The process for voting in municipal elections must be re-examined and modified to cut costs. I do not blame the people employed to work at the polls on Election Day for this. They were just trying to do their job.
There are other ways of handling the process, including having instant runoffs on Primary Day, thus avoiding the need for a separate runoff election. Many people feel that there should be no runoffs at all. It is not the fault of the candidates if many people seek a particular office, making it harder for any individual candidate to rack up a large plurality of the votes.
That $13 million spent on this runoff election could have been used to hire more teachers, or to sustain afterschool programs for children or to give better services to our senior citizens or to plant and care for additional trees to enhance our communities. The list goes on and on.
As citizens, we need to insist that wasteful spending be curbed and that well-thought-out strategies for voting procedures be put into place in order that all voters have their voices heard in the most effective way.
Voters in the Tudor Village section of Ozone Park will no longer have to play a game of Frogger to get to the voting booth.
After redistricting, residents in that neighborhood had their voting place moved from PS 63 on Sutter Avenue to PS 232 in Lindenwood, requiring them to venture across busy Conduit Boulevard.
The old-fashioned lever voting machine made a comeback in Tuesday’s primary elections, replacing the electronic ones used last year.
While many Queens voters rejoiced at the return, some voters were upset with the technological relic.
There was a Christine Quinn sighting in Floral Park Tuesday evening.
Council Speaker Quinn (D-Manhattan) came out on offense against Public Advocate Bill de Blasio at a forum for mayoral candidates at North Shore Towers.
Political endorsements often mean more to the candidate than to the voting public, but some are more meaningful than others.
In the crowded Democratic race in the 19th District to replace Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone), who is not seeking re-election, five contenders are attempting to stand out in the voters’ eyes.
Big Social Security disability case could benefit thousands
If you’re a registered New York voter, the peace and quiet of your evening at home may be pierced by a knock on your door from someone carrying a clipboard with a long sheet of paper (pink for Republicans, green for Democrats), asking for your signature. Or someone may have already visited you and you might be wondering what it’s all about.
This time of year is petition season in the political world. It’s the few short, hot weeks when candidates have to gather a minimum number of signatures from voters registered in their party, in order to get on the ballot. Archaic as it seems in the Digital Age, collecting signatures on paper and submitting them to the Board of Elections on time is the only way a candidate can get on the ballot.
Voters at the Razi School on Queens Boulevard after casting their ballots in the Iranian presidential election on June 14.
Expat Iranians came to Queens last Friday to vote in their country’s presidential election. Those who spoke to the Chronicle said they were hoping for a more moderate president to replace Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Four years ago, Iran’s presidential election ended in farce and tragedy.
For years, Walmart has tried to open a location in the five boroughs, but pushback from workers unions and the City Council have cast the superstore behemoth back to the suburbs.
Most recently, the retail giant intended to open shop in Brooklyn but was shot down by the Council in the fall of 2012, and it seemed as though the company had largely abandoned Operation: Get into New York City, for good.
Ten blocks west of Resorts World Casino New York City, a billboard over Rockaway Boulevard advertised casino table games less than two hours away in New Jersey.
To anyone with even the slightest knowledge of marketing, the ad seems to make sense — targeting gamers leaving Resorts World perhaps disappointed that New York City’s first casino lacks real roulette wheels and craps tables.
Small business owner Jennifer Dudek’s grassroots marketing strategy is taking off.
On June 20, 2011 Dudek and her husband opened the Long Island City ice cream shop Malu, named after their two sons, Mateo and Luke.
For many Queens residents, 2012 will be forever married to Superstorm Sandy and the havoc she wrought. For good or ill, North Queens was spared the brunt of the storm.
A sizeable number of downed trees and power outages hit the area, but most counted their luck. Compared to the borough’s southern edge, Sandy was forgiving to Flushing and its satellite neighborhoods.
Superstorm Sandy’s impact could be felt everywhere in the weeks following the hurricane. And of course it left its mark on politics.
There were long lines on Election Day and it wasn’t just because people were anxious to do their patriotic duty as Americans. Many people had been displaced, their homes badly damaged or destroyed by Sandy, while others couldn’t travel because the fuel shortage had left their cars with little or no gas.
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, a number of schools in the Rockaways and Howard Beach have relocated due to destruction at school buildings and power outages.
One Rockaway public school hard-hit by the storm has been relocated by the city Department of Education to Long Island City, where damage paled in comparison to other areas in the borough.
For months it had been characterized as the closest, most expensive state legislative race in the country. The two-term Democratic state senator faced a challenge from a popular Republican city councilman in a newly redrawn district that is far more perilous for a Democrat. These two men shared the same political base and both served the same community in City Hall and in many cases, had the same supporters.
But in the end, the incumbent came out on top — and it was not even close.