Voting booths, on the left, in New York City, circa 1900. Source: Wikipedia
Alternate side of the street parking regulations for the purpose of street cleaning will be suspended Tuesday, November 5 for Election Day [Ed. -- Don’t forget to vote!] All other regulations, including parking meters, shall remain in effect.
You can download your own 2013 Alternate Side Parking Suspension calendar — in English, as well as in Chinese, Haitian Creole, Italian, Korean, Russian or Spanish (all PDFs) — from the NYC DOT’s website.
The Flatbush Jewish Community Coalition (FJCC) sent this over today, and it’s good advice. We know we have a lot of readers who are temporarily out of the area, either displaced because of Sandy or for other reasons. That doesn’t mean you have to lose your chance to vote in the upcoming elections. Here’s the information, coming via FJCC:
The NYC general election for Mayor, Comptroller, Public Advocate and local City Council races is Tuesday November 5th. For those who may not be available to vote on that day in person, the deadline to file for an absentee ballot is looming: this Tuesday October 29th.
The Flatbush Jewish Community Coalition, FJCC, is strongly urging all registered voters in Flatbush and elsewhere to vote this coming Election Day, November 5th. Recent elections have been won and lost by a margin of only a few votes. Elected officials take notice of those communities that vote.
If you or a family member will be out of town, are elderly or infirm, a student studying in Lakewood or abroad, or for any reason won’t be available to vote in person on November 5th, please make sure to fill out and send in an absentee ballot request postmarked by October 29th.
The Board of Elections will mail you an actual Ballot. That Ballot must be returned to the Board of Elections NO LATER then the DAY BEFORE Election Day.
To make a request for the ballot to be sent to you call the Board of Elections at 212.487.5400 or just print from their site: http://vote.nyc.ny.us/downloads/pdf/forms/boe/absenteevoting/absenglish.pdf
Voting is a communal responsibility. When we vote, we win. Please Vote! We are all counting on you.
Source: Blue387 via wikimedia commons
A deal has finally been struck between the New York State Senate and Assembly in the effort to bring back lever voting machines. The New York Daily News is reporting that the old machines will be brought back just for the upcoming mayoral primaries.
We’ve previously reported that a series of disagreements between the Senate and Assembly over the best way to bring back the machines had stalled a decision. The Senate wanted to bring back the lever machines for all non-federal elections while the Assembly just wanted the machines only for this year’s upcoming primary and possible runoff election. The new deal brings back the lever machines just for use in the primary and and potential runoff elections, and not for the general in November.
The machines would replace the optical scanning voting machines, after Board of Elections bungling in past elections caused concern that they would be unable to reprogram the machines in time for a runoff.
The legislation also pushed back the date of any special mayoral runoff to three weeks after the primary instead of two. Governor Andrew Cuomo has not yet decided to throw his support behind the measure, despite heavy support from Mayor Michael Bloomberg and bipartisan support in the Senate and Assembly.
Source: Blue387 via Wikimedia Commons
The fight to bring back the old lever voting machines has picked up significant momentum since Mayor Michael Bloomberg backed the measure in May. Politicians like Bloomberg and State Senator Marty Golden want to bring back the old machines for the upcoming mayoral race due to fears that the $60 million worth of new digital voting equipment – loathed by most voters, and the source of recount bungling by Board of Election officials – cannot be reprogrammed in time to account for a potential runoff.
The Assembly introduced a bill to reintroduce the old lever voting machines for this year’s elections, but the bill has key difference from the Senate version which has already passed. The New York Daily News is reporting that the Assembly’s bill limits the use of old lever voting machines to this year’s primary and possibly runoff elections, whereas the Senate bill allows the machine to be used for any non-federal election.
The Board of Elections is prepared to employ 5,700 of the 6,000 lever voting machines they have in storage, which they consider enough to cover the event of a potential runoff in the upcoming mayoral election. An automatic runoff happens when no candidate receives the required 40 percent needed to win the primary before the general election.
Still, there are those in the Board of Elections (BOE) that believe that returning to the older machines would be a mistake and that the new machines could be ready in time for the mayor’s race. The Board has come up with a plan to have the new digital voting machines ready for a runoff, but if the state votes for an exemption they can overrule the BOE, forcing them to roll out the older machines.
Source: Blue387 via wikimedia commons
Marty Golden is following through on his promise to bring back the old voting machines by leading the New York State Senate in approving legislation that would allow the machines to be used in upcoming elections, according to a press release.
The legislation, which was sponsored by Golden, allows New York City to use lever machines for all non-federal elections, including the upcoming mayoral primaries, run-offs and general election. Golden praised the passage of the bill as a victory for making voting simpler.
“The lever voting machines had been successfully used in New York for over 100 years. They have proven to be reliable and easy for voters to use. In addition, using lever voting machines will expedite the canvass of votes cast in the primary election and reduce the number of paper ballots that would need to be hand-counted,” Golden said in the release.
State Senator Simcha Felder believes that the machines will help seniors.
“The new voting machines are confusing to people and very hard to read, especially for seniors,” Felder said.
There have been concerns that the new voting machines, which rely on paper ballots and digital readers, were causing more problems than solving them. Voters, especially seniors, complained about difficult to read and confusing paper ballot instructions, and the Board of Elections has proven unequal to the task of tallying the votes on the new machine in a timely manner.
The bill will now go to the Assembly for a vote.
The flag of the great state of Texas. Source: AustinFlag.com
BETWEEN THE LINES: I truly intended to steer clear of politics for this column. However, when I read about the secession effort set in motion this week in states that, by and large, voted for Mitt Romney, and then quickly spread in a few days, it induced me to stick my two cents into the fray as our nation becomes more sharply divided.
Have you heard about this post-Obama re-election foolishness? It’s even more outrageous than the lame excuses offered by embittered losers Mitt Romney, who said Obama gave gifts to liberal constituencies, and Paul Ryan, who said the urban vote hurt them. It’s even crazier than when Karl Rove went ballistic on election night and stubbornly refused to accept the Ohio voting results on the Fox News Channel.
The secession movement started in Texas — the reddest state — and, as of November 15, approximately 100,000 Lone Star residents had reportedly signed petitions requesting the peaceful withdrawal of their state from the union. Small numbers of citizens from every other state, including New York, quickly joined the movement and signed similar petitions asking to secede. Residents of a few states without a petition cheerfully signed one from another state.
They may do everything big in Texas, but this secession movement is hardly one of ’em. One hundred thousand is a drop in the bucket compared to the 26 million people in the nation’s second most populous state.
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Source: DonkeyHotey / Flickr
BETWEEN THE LINES: The presidential campaign stretched out for 18 months, yet it seemed longer — a lot longer.
I’ve had my fill of annoying attack ads. At least we won’t have to see those fact-skewing, derogatory commercials — until local campaigns emerge less than a year from now.
I’m also fed up with constant robocalls. Why is it that political calls are exempt from “Do Not Call” lists? And don’t give me that free speech explanation. That’s just a flimsy excuse when self-serving representatives fashion expedient legislation to exempt themselves, yet block solicitations from private businesses.
One thing this election demonstrated was that the nation’s melting pot population is more diverse than ever — and must be given attention. While the Democratic Party got an overwhelming majority of the minority vote, it’s going to have to work hard to maintain that base and not just count on it as their base for years to come. On the other hand, though the Republican Party is far from being washed up, as long as the GOP adheres to its horse-and-buggy manifesto, it’s likely to remain losers for years to come.
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My voting station was busier than I’ve ever seen it at my usual mid-day voting time – a time I choose to go because it’s usually empty.
Not so today; voters were lined up inside St. Mark School’s gymnasium (East 18th Street and Avenue Z), where many voters from blocks hard hit by the flooding near Sheepshead Bay Road are assigned to cast their ballot.
A poll worker told us that turnout has so far been great – all things considered – and that it has been an uneventful day in terms of complications.
Reader Auxil B. noted the same at his polling site:
I voted a while ago at the Kings Bay Y and it was active but uneventful. Everyone and everything was working well and the wait period was very brief to get a privacy booth. There was no wait for scanning. I was voter 100, which is well above the number I register in some off year primarites but I think a tad lower than in the Turner vs. Weprin special election a while ago.
Another reader, Celeste L., reports the same, though we’re waiting to hear back on which polling site she was assigned to:
I voted at 6:10 AM and was the first in my district. I saw no problems but the turnout was not yet heavy.
How has your voting experience been today? We especially want to hear from you if you were in a relocated site due to Hurricane Sandy?
As we well know by now, Hurricane Sandy didn’t just decimate homes and businesses, but also schools and other institutions that double as polling stations on Election Day. And with damage still present, and power outages in many locations, poll locations are being moved for many local voters.
You can find the latest poll site relocations here.You can also text “NYCVOTES” to 877877, or call (855) NYS-SANDY. If you have any other questions, call (866) VOTE-NYC.
Additionally, Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed an executive order permitting victims of Hurricane Sandy to vote by paper affidavit at any poll site. However, we encourage you to attempt to try to get to your relocated poll site , as some affidavits may not be counted.
Polling sites will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
BETWEEN THE LINES: For habitual readers of this column, it should come as no revelation as to who my preference is in Tuesday’s presidential election.
Over the last three or four months, there’s nothing former Governor Mitt Romney or Rep. Paul Ryan did to convince me to change my mind. (I’d still rather be blue than red.) As a matter of fact, most of what they or their obstructionist Republican colleagues uttered only solidified my incentive for President Barack Obama to serve another four years.
Barack Obama is the only choice, if we hope to move forward and not revert to stale Republican policies that generated the chaos — overseas and nationwide — that we’re in today.
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