City Election Officials Mess Up Ballot and Voting Guide to Promote Major Parties

November 1, 2013 Updated: November 1, 2013

The NYC Campaign Finance Board and Board of Elections are suppressing votes for third party and independent candidates. 

The two boards violate the basic rules of democracy by acting as if candidates of the Democratic and Republican parties are the only ones that matter. 

Even though the Green Party is one of the state’s six official parties, the Board of Elections has laid out the ballot so that only the candidates of the Democrats and Republicans appear solely on the same line. Many non-Green candidates now appear on the line that is supposed to be reserved for the Greens, making it impossible for anyone looking to just vote a straight Green ticket. 

We used to tell our supporters that when they went in to vote, kneel down to pray. Then look up and the Green candidates will be at the bottom. Now they have mixed up our candidates with all the other parties and independents and made the type face so small that you need to bring in a magnifying glass, and participate in a scavenger hunt. 

The location of a candidate’s name on the ballot may add 5 percent to his or her vote total. Some other states rotate the location of candidates’ names in order to ensure fairness. 

Further confusing voters is the fact that many candidates not on the ballot in November are listed in the voter’s guide. 

A few months ago Primary Election Voter Guides were sent out that excluded alternative party candidates that would not be appearing on the September ballots, because they did not have any competitors in their respective party lines. Now the General Election Voter Guides have been sent out that include candidates that will not be appearing on the ballots and is missing basic information for candidates that may not have provided profile information, but will be on the ballot. 

The following citywide mayoral and public advocates candidates are still appearing in this guide even though they are no longer on the ballot: Abiodun Samuel Laurel-Smith, George McDonald, John Catsimatidis, Jimmy McMillan, Daniel Squadron, and Tyrrell L. Joiner-Eiland. 

In the peculiar case of Daniel Squadron, didn’t we just run a $13 million runoff election to help Letitia James knock him off the ballot so that she could be assured a clear victory by appearing on both the Democratic and Working Families party lines? 

The printing and distribution of this inaccurate guide makes it hard for the voting public to determine who exactly will be on the ballot this November, especially since many of the alternative party candidates are not being mentioned by the major media.

I have had the displeasure of seeing the horribly designed sample ballot for the General Election that seems to clump all of the alternative party candidates together, while leaving very clean and less confusing columns for the major party candidates.

Grassroots Democracy is one of the four pillars of the Green Party and as public advocate candidate for New York City, I would ensure that such discrepancies would never be presented to voters on Election Day. Simple tasks, such as getting the New York Campaign Finance Board and the Board of Elections to meet and review finalized materials that are being prepared are in complete accordance with Right To Vote laws, seem to be an easy enough chore for the current public advocate. 

Oh, that’s right—he’s busy campaigning for mayor instead of making sure that the public’s best interests are being protected.

James Lane is the Green Party candidate for public advocate.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.