Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Remembering Jerome Koenig (1933-2012)

The Brennan Center was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our friend Jerome Koenig last Friday. Jerry was an active member of the New York Voting Rights Coalition, where he will be remembered as the leading expert and most knowledgeable person on New York State election law. If there was a question about statutory interpretation, members inevitably turned to Jerry for help. This is not surprising; as former Chief of Staff for the State Assembly Elections Committee, Jerry was often the author of the statutes we sought to understand.

Most recently, Jerry played an instrumental role in the coalition’s efforts to secure that the State Board of Elections count affidavit ballots as registration forms and ensuring that the New York City Board of Elections continue its practice of distributing postage paid voter registration applications. His wealth of knowledge and commitment to improving elections in New York so that every eligible New Yorker could vote, and be confident their vote was counted, was an inspiration to us all. He will greatly be missed.

Our deepest condolences go out to Jerry’s friends and family.

1 comment:

JOEL said...

Jerry was a great credit to public service, and a delightful human being.

He knew more about election law than top members of that bar, and shared his depth of understanding cheerfully, unstintingly, and nonpartisanly.

For this writer, a novice voting rights/elections practitioner in the eighties, he was a go-to back channel guy to explain the real implications of complex provisions of law that were not always what they seemed.

Jerry wanted people to vote and participate in democracy to the fullest extent for the sake of the commonweal, and was fervently devoted to fair and open processes.

Though many continue to pursue his principled goals, Jerry was a one-of-a-kind figure in state government.

Jerry Koenig - RIP.

Joel Graber
Assistant Attorney General