Don’t forget that we will be voting on both sides of the ballot on November 4. There will be three proposals on all New York State ballots. In some cases local towns, counties or villages could add local proposals. There are numerous sites that have detailed information, which include the pros and cons, for each proposal. The League of Women’s Voters have produced a Voter’s Guide that reports on the state wide campaigns including these three proposals. If you visits the site, the proposals are near the end of the guide.
The first State proposal, an amendment to the New York State Constitution, would change the method of establishing our Congressional, State Senate, and State Assembly districts after the 2020 federal census. The proposal would create a Commission of eight non-legislators and non-lobbyists selected by the party leaders of the State Senate and State Assembly. Joining them will be two members, which can not be a member either of the two major parties, selected by a committee of eight legislators.
The Commission’s task would to create district lines that do not discourage competition, nor ones that favor or disfavor incumbents, particular candidates or political parties. The commission will have a series of public hearings and the Act provides the Commission guidelines.
“It’s Time For A Fair Redistricting Process in New York.” is a website promoting the passage of Proposition 1. The NY State of Politics has an article telling reasons to be against it.
The second proposal, also an amendment to the New York State Constitution, would allow the Legislators to receive electronic copies of proposed bills. According to a letter in the Yonkers Tribune:
Proposition 2 is straightforward. When our constitution was written it required that all bills introduced, of which there were approximately 18,000 this year, be printed on paper on legislators’ desks for at least 3 days prior to being voted on. This amendment would change our constitution to eliminate the paper requirement and allow for the use of electronic or digital review, saving us money and eliminating the need for printing and recycling of huge numbers of paper bills, simultaneously protecting our environment. The three-day rule of review would still apply, but tablets, laptops, or the latest technology available could be used. Paper copies of bills would be available upon request, but no longer be mandatory.
The third proposal is to authorize bonding (borrowing) $2 billion to equip New York State Schools with technological equipment—such as, but not limited to, interactive whiteboards, computers servers, desk top and lap top computers and high speed broadband or high speed wireless internet.
The Gotham Gazette has an article about Proposition 3–the SMART School Act with an Interactive Map which shows how much each of the State’s school districts will receive if this proposition passes. An article, New York’s School Bond Boondoggle has six reasons to vote against Proposition 3.
The New York State Board of Elections has details about each proposition in a summary format. It also has links to the full text version of each.
The back of the ballot is sometimes an after thought for many voters. We generally have little information about the propositions, even though they can be enacted only if they are approved by the voters. Proposition 1 could have an impact on the future elections. Proposition 2 moves the State Legislature into the 21st Century, is environmentally-friendly and will lower the State’s operational spending. It has little opposition, if any. Proposition 3 would have a great impact on the students in our state, now and in the future. The back of the ballot is important.