Friday, October 24, 2014

Money in New York Politics

The Brennan Center regularly compiles the latest news concerning the corrosive nature of money in New York State politics—and the ongoing need for public financing and robust campaign finance reform. This week’s links were contributed by Eric Petry.

For more stories on an ongoing basis, follow the Twitter hashtags#moNeYpolitics and #fairelex.


City Board of Elections Creates Another Poorly Designed Ballot
The New York City Board of Elections has come under scrutiny in recent years for designing confusing ballots that led to tens of thousands of votes being thrown out as invalid. It appears that 2014 could be no different. One of the recurring issues with the Board’s ballots has been that candidates for the same races are split onto multiple lines. Splitting contests, which this year’s ballot does, can cause voters to accidentally choose more than one candidate when completing their ballot. Another troubling design feature of this year’s ballot is that it favors the major parties, while discriminating against the minor parties. Voters who support the Democrats or Republicans will find the ballot very straightforward, because Democratic and Republican candidates are aligned separately from the minor party candidates. Minor party voters, on the other hand, will have to search through the confusing cluster of other candidates to find their choice. The Brennan Center for Justice, a consistent advocate for ballot improvement, sent a letter to the New York City Board of Elections this week detailing how the design flaws harm minor political parties, and urging the Board to take action to address these issues.