New York voters will face 5 ballot proposals this November. Here's what you need to know

Along with candidates, voters will also be deciding on five ballot proposals.

News 12 Staff

Oct 20, 2021, 12:27 AM

Updated 998 days ago

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NYC Vote wants residents to know what to expect on this year’s ballot.
Along with candidates, voters will also be deciding on five ballot proposals.
Proposal 1: Amending the apportionment and redistricting process.
With this ballot question, you are deciding on changes to how the New York State Independent Redistricting Commission does its work.
“They specify where to count specific groups of people, the numbers of votes required to approve those new district maps, and the deadlines for when all of this needs to take place by,” says Allie Swatek, the director of policy and research at NYC Vote. “So, it also sets the number of state senators at 63, which sounds like a really random number, but that is the number we have right now."
On the NYC Votes website, you can see the support and opposition on this and the other proposals. Some opponents say it is too broad or that it could remove certain protections.
Ballot proposal 2: Right to clean air, clean water and a healthful environment.
Swatek says six other states have a similar protection in their constitution, which would allow New Yorkers to sue if they think that right is being violated.
While there has been a lot of support for this, some have concern that there would be an increase in lawsuits if this passes.
Ballot question 3: Eliminating 10-day advance voter registration requirement.
“It’s called that, but it won't actually implement same-day voter registration if you vote yes on it,” Swatek says. “It just says that we want to give the Legislature the opportunity to potentially pass a bill that says that."
Ballot proposal 4 also deals with voting: Authorizing no-excuse absentee ballot voting.
“This is also again just a reminder, striking the requirement that you have an excuse to vote by absentee from the constitution and allowing the Legislature to eventually pass a no excuse absentee voting law,” Swatek says.
Ballot question 5: Increasing the jurisdiction of the New York City Civil Court.
This is to address cases that have stacked up in the court system due to COVID-19.
“This is allowing, in the New York State Constitution, this is allowing the NYC Civil Court to also deal with lawsuits for claims for damages up to $50,000,” Swatek says. “Currently, the only court that is allowed to do this is the NYC Supreme Court. So, it is basically just allowing two different courts to address these claims, and it is kind of addressing that backlog of cases from COVID."
For more information, visit the NYC Votes website.
Early voting starts on Saturday, and Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 2.


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