Wednesday, August 12, 1998

New York's Election Laws Are A Disgrace

"When challenges do cross party lines, they can have widespread political effects. "When it happens . . . we tend to literally become sort of Mafia-oriented," said Jeffrey Feldman, executive director of the Kings County Democratic County Committee. "You cross us, we'll make your life hell for a while."Hill, July 28, 1998

"The reason for the pagination requirement -- and similar rules -- is the state's assumption that candidates are often up to no good. Pagination diminishes the likelihood that people have removed pages from a petition or inserted pages in the petition after it's been filed, according to Jeffrey Feldman, executive director of the Kings County Democratic Committee. And pagination makes it easy to identify a challenged signature.

In New York, petitions also can be thrown out if signatures do not have a date next to them and if corrections are not initialed by a witness. Other rules require campaign workers or volunteers who collect signatures for petitions (called witnesses) to either be authorized to take an oath (a notary public, for example), or must themselves be registered to that party, live in the district and not have signed another petition for the same office. The sum and substance of these rules is to discourage maverick candidates who have failed to gain the imprimatur of the political bosses." - Hill, August 12, 1998