Your Vote Still Matters

So, most of the local seats were decided during the primaries, the national mood is taking a sharp turn to the right (hopefully not back towards that ditch), and there’s this confusing new balloting system that doesn’t even seem to work. Tomorrow is election day, but it’s probably best to stay home, right?


Tuesday is election day, and your vote does still matter – as a matter of exercising your civic rights, but also as a practical matter in some very important competitive races.

Enough of the why and wherefores, though, here’s the rundown on the practicalities of going out and exercising those civic rights. First off, the wheres and hows:

1. To find out where your polling place is, go here.

2. To find out how those new machines work, go here (and you’ll like you know what you’re doing tomorrow).

Now about the whos and whats, as in who’s on the ballot and what’s on the line:

At the top of the ticket, there is the race for Governor of NY and two US Senate seats (one is a special election). All congressional seats and all state legislative seats (Assembly and Senate) are also on the ballot tomorrow.

The most competitive races (the polls are literally neck and neck) are those for state Comptroller and Attorney General. The Comptroller’s race pits incumbent Tom DiNapoli (D/WFP) against Harry Wilson (R/C/IP). The Attorney General race (for an open seat) has Upper West Side Assemblyman Eric Schneiderman running against Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan.

The city votes for its Mayor and Council Members in odd-numbered years, so the only local issue on the ballot tomorrow is City Charter revision. The Charter revision issues are: a) reinstituting term limits; and b) a host of seven (7!) subquestions on City elections and administration. You can (and should) read all about them here. One very important issues buried at the bottom of the seven subquestions regards including privately-owned transportation and waste facilities in public siting maps and decision making. North Brooklyn has a surfeit of private waste transfer stations, which under current rules aren’t taking into account when the city decides, for instance, to expand municipal waste handling in our community (this happened this past Summer). Oh, and all of this is on the back of your ballot – be sure to look for it.

If you are feeling a bit disillusioned about politics in Washington, politics in Albany or politics in City Hall, don’t stay home. There are a host of third parties whose line you can vote. They include the Working Families Party (WP), the Conservative Party (C) and the Independence Party. You can even vote for that guy who was on Saturday Night Live.

But please, vote.

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