Petition Truths

Wednesday is the first day of hearings on petitions at the New York City Board of Elections. In honor of that, I thought it would be good to point out some truths about the petition process in New York.

*A few candidates will be thrown off the ballots because of “technicalities” that no objective person should believe should remove a candidate from the ballot.

*These “technicalities” will NOT be using the wrong color, writing St. instead of street or leaving out a middle initial in a voter’s name.

*Some of the technicalities were once put in the election law for good reasons. But those reasons no longer exist because of changes in technology and/or other changes in the law. These include the requirement that the number of signatures on a page be included in the witness statement and the prohibition of signers of one candidate’s petition from witnessing the petitions of an opposing candidate.

*A few “technicalities” are not really “technicalities” but are important requirements. These include numbering the pages correctly and filing an accurate cover sheet.

*The vast majority of candidates will be thrown off the ballot not because of “technicalities” or the uniqueness of New York’s election law or the rules of the Board of Election or because a fix was in.

*Most candidates removed will be disqualified because they simply did not collect enough signatures from voters of their Party in their district!