On Monday night, the New York City Charter Revision Commission heard public testimony before it voted to place two proposals on November’s ballot. The final 2010 ballot questions are available here.
One element of the Commission’s decision that sparked considerable discontent was the way in which the Commission lumped the proposed changes into just two ballot questions. Several private citizens who testified earlier in the evening urged the Commission to separate the issues; critics said the format would confuse voters, discourage participation, restrict voters’ options, and possibly result in an inaccurate reflection of public intent. The Commission indicated, however, that the bundling of questions was an unavoidable result of the city’s new electronic voting machines. A Wall Street Journal article quotes Commissioner Hope Cohen expressing her belief that “It's unfortunate” so many issues are being bundled together because, “When you get 10 different subjects bundled together, there is a good possibility that you will like various items and not like various items.”
Why are the new voting machines forcing the city to bundle so many issues into just two questions? No one in the press accounts we’ve read has said, but we think we know – it probably has less to do with the new machines, than requirements the State Board put in place for the machines:
We have previously blogged about the requirements of