What To Know – The New York State’s General Election 2021

“Justice in the life and conduct of the State is possible only as first
it resides in the hearts and souls of the citizens.”


Election Day: Tuesday November 2, 2021 6am-9pm

Early Voting: Saturday Oct 23, 2021 – Sunday Oct 31, 2021 Voters may visit ANY of the Early Voting Centers in the county where they reside, except in New York City, where voters are assigned by address to ONE early voting site. More details on New York City, Nassau and Suffolk counties are listed below.

Vote By Mail 

Monday October 18, 2021 – you can request a ballot online, or request one by mail, e-mail, or fax. Your ballot must be postmarked by Tuesday November 2. More details on New York City, Nassau and Suffolk Counties are listed below.

Individualized Election Information

The League of Women Voters Education Fund is a national resource of voter information customized to your exact location. It includes information provided by all candidates for local, state and national races. Divisive politics have entered school board decisions , and it’s important to know where your school candidates stand. Use their resource before entering the polls. https://www.vote411.org

The Five New York Statewide Ballot Proposals

(There may be additional local ballot proposals in your area, please check with your county Board of Elections for more information.)

These are summaries of what each proposal states. More information can be found on the articles provided by the nonprofit news organization The City and WNYC’s The Gothamist.

Proposal #1: Updating the State’s Redistricting Process.

  1. Remove a rule that the commission needs to have co-executive directors comprised of one appointed by Republican commissioners and one by Democratic commissioners.
  2. Move up the timeline by two weeks for when redistricting plans must be submitted to the legislature
  3. Make sure that every person in New York State is counted in the redistricting process
  4. Change the vote total needed to adopt redistricting plans when one political party controls both legislative houses. Allow what’s called a “simple majority” for lawmakers from the Assembly and Senate to approve or reject district maps if 7 of the 10 commissioners agree on the maps.
  5. Require that incarcerated people be counted at the address where they lived before going to jail or prison for the purposes of redistricting — not where they are being detained.
  6. Set the number of state Senate districts to 63, as it currently stands, instead of 50, as it’s currently stated in the constitution. The state senator cap is an attempt by Albany lawmakers to prevent future legislators from creating new districts to tip the partisan balance of the legislature.

Opinions on Proposal #1: Good government groups in the state are split on the measure. New York Common Cause and New York Public Interest Research Group called it an imperfect but necessary change. The League of Women Voters of New York State wants voters to reject the proposal.

Proposal #2  Entitlements To Clean Environment

This amendment proposal would add this line to the state’s Bill of Rights: “Each person shall have a right to clean air and water, and a healthful environment.” The proposal, however, is vague on what happens if the state fails to produce this guarantee for New Yorkers.

In New York, supporters include the League of Conservation Voters, Environmental Advocates of New York, the Adirondack Mountain Club and the NYC Environmental Justice Alliance. Pros and cons to this proposal number 2 is provided by the League of Women Voters.

Proposal #3 Shortening Ten Day Voting Registration

Proposal 3 would remove a current constitutional rule that you must register to vote at least 10 days before an election in New York.  That would give the green light for same-day voter registration in New York — if the legislature approves it down the line. Pros and cons to this proposal is provided by the League of Women Voters.

Proposal #4 No Excuse Absentee Ballot Requests

This proposal would nix a state constitutional rule that says voters must have an excuse, or valid reason, to vote with an absentee ballot. If the proposal gets voter approval, it would clear the way for the state Legislature to make no-excuse absentee voting a permanent option. There are clear pros and cons to this proposal.

Ballot Proposal #5: Expand NYC Civil Court’s Purview

The fifth ballot proposal seeks to change the monetary limit on claims in the city’s civil court, which is regulated by the state constitution. While judges in New York City Civil Court can currently hear and decide claims of up to $25,000, as has been the case since 1983, this proposal would allow them to hear and decide cases double the current maximum. The proposal’s purpose is to reduce the caseload in the court system, especially State Supreme Court.   The added benefit for you is waiting less time to have your case heard at NYC Civil Court when compared to the State Supreme Court, which is often overwhelmed. A criticism of this proposal includes  that it may place an additional burden on the New York City Civil Court by increasing the number of cases they may receive.

Contact your county’s Board of Elections for information including early voting sites and times, mail in ballots, and the candidates who are running for public office.

Election information for New York City, Kings, New York, Queens, Bronx, Richmond,  Nassau and Suffolk Counties are provided below.

New York City’s General Election

Dates & Times To Remember

Early Voting : Saturday October 23, 2021-Sunday October 31, 2021

Election Day:  Tuesday,November 2, 2021 6am-9pm

Early Voting Sites

You must vote early  at your assigned early voting site. Your early voting site may be different from your Election Day poll site, so make sure to check before you go! 

Find your Early Voting and General Election poll site AND view a sample ballot .

Vote By Mail Steps & Links

Step One: Request an absentee ballot online, by mail or by phone.  The deadline to request an absentee ballot for the November 2nd election is  Monday, October 18th.

Step Two: How to complete your ballot.

Step Three: Ways to return your ballot – by mail or in person at a ballot box or Board of Elections office. Your ballot must be postmarked by Tuesday November 2.  Here are the sites of your borough’s  Board of Election offices and ballot boxes.

Step Four: How to track your ballot. The ballot tracker will let you know the status of your ballot after you submit a request. It will also let you know if the Board of Elections has received your completed ballot and whether it’s valid.

New York City Candidates


Democrat: Eric L Adams
Republican: Curtis A. Sliwa

Public Advocate

Democrat: Jumaane D Williams
Republican: Devi Nampiaparampil


Democrat: Brad Lander
Republican: Daby Carreras

Borough Presidents


Democrat : Mark D. Levine
Republican: Louis Puliafito


Democrat : Vanessa Gibson
Republican: Janelle King


Democrat:  Antonio Reynoso
Republican: Menachem Raitport


Democrat:  Donovan J. Richards Jr.
Republican: Tom Zmich

Staten Island

Democrat: Mark Murphy
Republican: Vito Fosella

City Council

District 1

Democrat: Christopher Marte
Republican: Jacqueline Toboroff

District 4

Democrat: Keith Powers
Republican: David Casavis

District 7

Democrat: Shaun Abreu
Republican: None

District 32

Democrat: Felicia Singh
Republican: Joanne Ariola

District 35

Democrat: Crystal Hudson
Republican: None

District 36

Democrat: Chi Osse
Republican: None

District 39

Democrat:  Shahana Hanif
Republican: None

District 50

Democrat: Sal Albanese
Republican: David Carr

Please note:  There are other candidates running against the Democrat and Republican candidate(s) in the General Election who represent the  Conservative, Working Families, Independent and numerous other parties. Here is a full listing for city officials and city council candidates  . All candidates for the Borough President races are found by county: New York, Kings, Queens, Bronx and Richmond.

Judicial Positions & Candidates

The District Attorney’s Office

A district attorney acts as the top prosecutor of whatever county district they’re in. Because each of the city’s boroughs is its own district, each borough has its own district attorney, who is expected to conduct all criminal prosecutions within the county. Each term lasts for a total of four years, and the position is not term-limited, which means district attorneys can continue to run for the office as long as they like.

New York Supreme Court Judicial Districts

The Supreme Court of the State of New York includes 62 courts—one supreme court for each county. These courts are the highest trial courts in New York State, and are of general jurisdiction. The statewide Supreme Court “…generally hears cases outside the authority of the lower courts such as civil matters beyond the monetary limits of the lower courts’ jurisdiction, divorce, separation and annulment proceedings, and criminal prosecutions of felonies.”

The New York Supreme Courts are not New York’s courts of last resort. The Court of Appeals is the highest court in New York.

The Surrogate Court

The Surrogate’s Court hears cases involving the affairs of decedents, including the probate of wills and the administration of estates. It also handles adoptions.

The Civil Courts

Civil court is a government institution that settles disputes between two or more entities. Civil court cases may involve any combination of private citizens, businesses, government institutions, or other parties. The Civil Court of the City of New York decides lawsuits involving claims for damages up to $25,000 and includes a small claims part for cases involving amounts up to $5,000 as well as a housing part for landlord-tenant matters.

The Municipal/City Courts

The City Courts  have criminal jurisdiction over misdemeanors and lesser offenses (that carry a term of imprisonment of no more than one year) as well as civil lawsuits involving claims of up to $15,000. Some City Courts have a small claims part for the informal disposition of matters involving claims of up to $5,000 and/or housing parts to handle landlord-tenant matters and housing violations.

New York County Judicial Races

Manhattan District Attorney

Democrat : Alvin L. Bragg
Republican: Thomas Kenniff

New York Supreme Court 1st Judicial District (2 seats)

Democrat: Margaret A Chan
Democrat: John J Kelly

New York Civil Court – (2 seats)

Democrat: Kim Parker
Democrat:  Jeffrey Zellan

2nd Municipal Court (2 seats)

Democrat: Christopher Chin
Democrat: Betty Lugo

3rd Municipal Court (1 seat)

Democrat: Paul A Goetz

5th Municipal Court (1 seat)

Democrat: Hasa Kingo

9th Municipal Court (1 seat)

Democrat: Barbara Jaffe

Kings County Judicial Races

Kings County District Attorney

Democrat: Eric Gonzalez
Republican:  None

New York Supreme Court 2nd Judicial District (7 seats ) 8 Candidates

D/R/Conservative Lillian Wan
Democrat Dena E Douglas
Democrat Carolyn Walker-Diallo
D/R/Conservative Joy F Campanelli
D/R/Conservative Gina Levy
D/R/Conservative Consuelo Mallafre Melendez
D/R/Conservative Richard J. Montelione
D/R/Conservative Robert Mazzuchin Jr.  (also ran for 46th Council District)

Surrogate Court (1 seat)

Democrat Rosemarie Montablano

Civil Court (3 seats)

Democrat Sharon D Hudson
Democrat Heela Capell
Democrat  Inga Oneale

Second Municipal Court (1 seat)

Democrat Lisa Lewis

Seventh Municipal Court (1 seat)

Democrat Keisha Alleyne  

Queens County Judicial Races

New York Supreme Court 11th Judicial District (6 seats) 9 Candidates

D/R Denis J. Butler
D/R Kenneth C. Holder
Democrat Karen Goopee
Democrat Laurentina McKetney Butler
Democrat Michele Titus
Republican John Spataro
D/R David Kirschner
Working Families Party Deborah Axt
Working Families Party Bob Cohen

Civil Court (2 seats) 3 Candidates

Democrat Andrea Ogle
Democrat Soma Syed
R/Conservative Party/Save Our City Party William Shanahan – only information available is on a judge of this name from North Carolina

Third Municipal Court (1 seat)

Democrat Paul Vallone
Republican Kathy Wu Parrino
R/Conservative/Save Our City Party Joseph Kasper

Fourth Municipal Court (1 seat)

Democrat Cassandra Johnson
R/Conservative Party Daniel Kogan

Bronx County Judicial Races

New York Supreme Court 12th Judicial District (5 seats) 6 Candidates

Democrat Paul L Alpert
Democrat George R Villegas
Democrat Patsy Gouldborne
Democrat Naita Semaj
Democrat Marissa Soto
Republican Anthony Marecki

Second Municipal Court (2 seats)

Democrat Jessica Flores
Democrat Verena Powell

Richmond County Judicial Races

New York Supreme Court 13th Judicial District (2 seats) 4 Candidates

Democrat Charles Trola
Democrat Ann Thompson
Republican Ronald Castorina
Republican Paul Marrone

2nd Municipal Court (1 seat) 2 Candidates

Democrat Maria Novak
R/Conservative Party Brendan Lantry

New York State Special Elections

(Districts located in NYC)

These special state elections will fill vacancies created by the resignation of Victor M. Pichardo in the Assembly, and the resignation of Brian A. Benjamin in Senate. Brian A. Benjamin is now serving as Lieutenant Governor for the State of New York.

Bronx 86th Assembly District

Democrat Yudelka Tapia

Manhattan Senatorial District 30

Democrat Cordell Cleare
Republican Oz Sultan
Hope 4 NY Shana Harmongoff

Nassau County

Early Voting

Saturday, October 23 through Sunday October 31. Check here for sites and times.

Vote By Mail
Dates To Remember

Monday October 18 . Last day for Board of Elections to receive application or letter of application by mail, online portal, email or fax for absentee ballot.
Monday November 1. Last day to apply for absentee ballot in person at Board of Elections. Nassau County Board of Elections
240 Old Country Rd (5th Floor)
Mineola, NY 11501
Monday November 1. Last day to postmark absentee ballot. Must be received by the Board of Elections no later than November 9, 2021.
Tuesday November 2. Last day to deliver absentee ballot in person to the Board of Elections or any poll site in Nassau County, by close of polls.

How to Request an Absentee Ballot in Nassau County

1. Electronically through the New York State Absentee Ballot Application Portal

2. By emailing an absentee ballot application to InfoBOE@nassaucountyny.gov

3. By faxing an absentee ballot application to (516) 571-2058

4. By mailing an absentee ballot application to: Nassau County Board of Elections, P.O. Box 9002, Mineola, NY 11501

5. By sending a letter via mail, email or fax.  The letter must include the following information:

Your name and date of birth;
The address where you are registered;
The address where the ballot is to be sent; and
Reason for the request: You may use New York’s Qualifications to Vote By Absentee Ballot

Nassau County Candidates

The Nassau County Board of Elections has provided a listing of candidates for numerous judicial, county executive, council, town clerks, supervisors, and county legislator positions throughout the county.  Confirm what legislative district you live in.  Research what candidate(s) support your values and concerns. Become involved with their political campaigns and donate, volunteer and support in any way you can. 

The candidates of Glen Cove and Long Beach were profiled in the prior Primary post and the winners are listed below.

City of Glen Cove

City Council Race
The Democrats that won the Primary include : Danielle Fugazy Scagliola, Eve Lupenko Ferrante, Gaitley Stevenson-Mathews, John L Perrone, Marsha F Silverman, and Roderick Watson. Roco Torino  is on the ballot but  now representing the Common Sense Party.  All of the candidates for the upcoming  City of Glen Cove General Election were profiled by Politics NY.

City of Long Beach

City Council Race
The Democrats that won the Primary  include John Bendo, Tina Posterli and Roy Lester. All of the candidates for the upcoming  City of Long Beach’s General Election was profiled by Politics NY.

Suffolk County

Early Voting

Saturday, October 23 through Sunday October 31. Check here for sites and times.

Vote By Mail
Dates To Remember

Monday October 18 . Last day for Board of Elections to receive application or letter of application by mail, online portal, email or fax for absentee ballot.
Monday November 1. Last day to apply for absentee ballot in person at Board of Elections.
Monday November 1. Last day to postmark absentee ballot. Must be received by the Board of Elections no later than November 9, 2021.
Tuesday November 2. Last day to deliver absentee ballot in person to the Board of Elections or any poll site in Nassau County, by close of polls.

How to Request an Absentee Ballot in Suffolk County

1. Electronically through the New York State Absentee Ballot Application Portal

2. By Mail. Send a completed application or request to: Suffolk County Board of Elections, PO Box 700, Yaphank, NY 11980. If you do not complete an application and send a letter request instead, please include your name and date of birth, the reason for the request, the address where you are registered and an address where you want the ballot to be sent. See New York’s Qualifications to Vote By Absentee Ballot to provide a reason.

3. In Person. Go to the Suffolk BOE at 700 Yaphank Ave., Yaphank, NY 11980 and make a request or complete and submit your application. Depending on availability, you maybe able to get a ballot while you wait! Otherwise you can come back the next day to retrieve your ballot or the Board of Elections will mail it to you. The Board of Elections will remain open until 7:00 PM on Tuesday, October 19th and Thursday, October 21st for absentee ballot requests and submissions. 

4. By Email. Email an application or request for an absentee ballot to Absentee.voters@suffolkcountyny.gov and include your name and date of birth, the reason for the request, the address where you are registered and an address where you want the ballot to be sent. See New York’s Qualifications to Vote By Absentee Ballot to provide a reason.

5. By Fax. Send an application or request to 631-852-4590. If you do not complete an application and send a letter request instead, please include your name and date of birth, the reason for the request, the address where you are registered and an address where you want the ballot to be sent. See New York’s Qualifications to Vote By Absentee Ballot to provide a reason.

Suffolk County Candidates

The Suffolk County Board of Elections has provided a listing of candidatesfor numerous judicial, sheriff, council, supervisor, town clerks, receiver of taxes,  assessor, superintendent of highways, trustee and county legislator positions throughout the county.  Confirm what legislative district you live inResearch what candidate(s) support your values and concerns. Become involved with their political campaigns and donate, volunteer and support in any way you can. 

The candidates of the towns of East Hampton, Islip  and Southhampton were profiled in the prior Primary post and the winners are listed below.

Town of East Hampton

Democrats that will be on the General Election ballot:
Supervisor – Peter K Van Scoyoc
Council – Kathy Burke-Gonzalez and Cathee A Roger
Trustees – David J Cataletto, Susan F Mc Graw-Keber, William F Taylor, James C Grimes, John M Aldred, Michael L Martinsen, Francis J Bock, Timothy A Garneau, and Benjamin P Dollinger.  

Town of Huntington 

Democrats/ Working Family candidates that will be on the General Election ballot
Supervisor – Rebecca L. Sanin
Council – Jen Hebert and Joseph G. Suchramm

Town of Islip

Republican Andrew T Wittman III won the Republican Primary

Town of Southhampton

Democrats that will be on the General Election ballot
Superintendent of Highways – Thomas F. Neely
Town Justice – Adam B. Grossman, Shari P. Oster
Council – Thomas Schiavoni and Robin L Long

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The Long Island and New Jersey Primaries

New York

To check if you are Registered to Vote, including your Election District Information, Party Affiliation and Voting LocationClick Here.

Primary Day is June 22, 2021. Remember that New York State has a closed primary. Only enrolled members of a party can vote in that party’s primary elections.

Nassau County

Only voters who are enrolled in the Democratic Party and reside in the City of Glen Cove or the City of Long Beach are eligible to vote in the June 22 Primary Election. All registered voters may vote in the November General Election.

Registration Deadlines

May 28, 2021 Last day to postmark voter registration form.
Must be received by the Board of Elections no later than June 2nd, 2021.
May 28, 2021 Last day to submit voter registration form in person at Board of Elections

You may vote:

City of Glen Cove

Seven Democratic candidates are running for six Council seats. Six incumbents are running; Marsha Silverman, Gaitley Stevensn-Mathews, Rocco A. Totino, Dr. Eve Lupenko Ferrante, John Perrone, and Danielle Fugazy Scagliola. Former Glen Cove City Councilman Roderick Watson is the seventh candidate. The candidates are weighing on the issues of transparency in government, partisan politics, development, infrastructure, including information-technology; and balanced growth.

City of Long Beach

June 2 : League of Women’s Voters of Long Beach,NY and the Long Beach Public Library will sponsor a Virtual Candidates Forum for the City of Long Beach Council Candidates. You can either view afterwards or live stream.

Seven Democratic candidates are running for three Council seats. Incumbent John Bendo joins Tina Posterli, and Paulette Waithe in being supported by the Nassau County Democrats. Three Democrats; Kevin Heller, Leah Tozer, and Bill Notholt are running under the banner of Long Beach United. Roy Lester, a former president of the Long Beach school board, bankruptcy lawyer, and frequent critic of city policies, is running on his own.

Residents of the City of Long Beach are still paying off more than $8 million in debt issued almost seven years ago to cover a budget deficit. An investigation last year by the Nassau County District Attorney found “rampant, longstanding, egregious incompetence by many public officials within the Long Beach government,” but the prosecutor didn’t have enough evidence to bring criminal charges.

Important questions remain on how to generate money for the city, lower taxes and expand the tax base. If that isn’t enough, the candidates are facing issues such as repairing infrastructure, smart redevelopment, earning the city residents’ trust in government, and fiscal responsibility.

Suffolk County

Registration Deadlines

May 28, 2021 Last day to postmark voter registration form.
Must be received by the Board of Elections no later than June 2nd, 2021.
May 28, 2021 Last day to submit voter registration form in person at Board of Elections

You may vote:

By requesting an absentee ballot in writing or online . Deadlines provided by League of Women Voters of Suffolk County
In person at an early voting polling place between June 12 and June 20
In person at your assigned polling place on June 22.

Town of East Hampton

Two Democrats; Jeffrey Bragman and Peter K Van Scoyoc are running for Supervisor.
Three Democrats are running for the two Council seats; John P. Whelan, Cathy A Rogers and Kathee Burke-Gonzalez.
Ten Democrats are running for the nine Trustee positions; David J Cataletto, Susan F Mc Graw-Keber, William F Taylor, James C Grimes, Richard P Drew II, John M Aldred, Michael L Martinsen, Francis J Bock, Timothy A Garneau, and Benjamin P Dollinger.

It has been a contentious primary for the candidates including issues like the wind farm, the pandemic , water quality, housing affordability, building a new senior center and hospital emergency room. Others are focused on historic preservation and town infrastructure improvements.

Town of Huntington

Two Working Family Candidates; Rebecca L Sanin and Marissa Anderson are running for Supervisor.
Three Democrats; Hunter J Gross, Joseph G Schramm Jr, and Jen Hebert are running for two Council seats.
Three Working Family Candidates; Jen Hebert, Robert A Smitelli, and Michael J Oddo are running for two Council seats.

Issues facing Huntington candidates include economic development, affordable housing, restoration of public integrity, the effects of the LIPA Tax Settlement, and the Huntington Station revitalization plan.

Town of Islip

Two Republicans; Andrew T Wittman III and Michael S Siniski, are running for Receiver of Taxes.

Town of Southhampton

Two Working Family Candidates; Thomas F Neely and Marc Braeger, are running for Superintendent of Highways.
Three Democrats; Adam B Grossman, incumbent Barbara L Wilson and Shari P Oster, are running for two Town Justice positions.
Three Conservatives; Barbara L Wilson, Bryan L Browns and Patrick J Gunn, are running for two Town Justice positions.
Four Working Family Candidates; Bryan L Browns, Shari P Oster, Adam B Grossman, and Barbara L Wilson are running for two Town Justice positions.
Four Working Family Candidates; Miranda P Schultz, Sean P Mc Ardle, Robin L Long and Thomas Schiavoni are running for two Council seats.

Issues facing the candidates include traffic congestion, public transportation, blue infrastructure, affordable housing, and preservation of open space.

New Jersey

Primary: Tuesday, June 8, 2021

In Person

Last year’s primary and general elections in the Garden State were conducted primarily by mail because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But Gov. Phil Murphy announced in March that this year’s primary election would occur mainly in person. All regular polling places will be open for residents to cast their votes on voting machines.If you’re unsure where your polling place is, you can look it up using your address on the state Division of Elections website.

Although Gov. Murphy signed a law establishing statewide early in-person voting in March, there will not be any early in-person voting in the June primary. A spokeswoman for the Secretary of State said counties still had to acquire new electronic poll books and train workers in how to use them. The November general election in New Jersey is expected to have early in-person voting.

Under state law, anyone who wishes to vote in the primary must be registered with a political party to cast a ballot. However, anyone unaffiliated with a political party can still vote by selecting that party at their polling site on primary day.

By Mail

If you want to vote by mail in New Jersey’s primary election, you can, for any reason, by applying for a mail ballot with your county clerk. You must apply for it by June 1, seven days before the election. You can also apply for it in person at your county clerk’s office until 3 p.m. the day before the election, Monday June 7.

Once you fill out and seal your mail ballot, there are three ways to submit it for your vote to be counted: A return it by mail or B hand it in at your local polling place or C at your county Board of Elections office, or put it in a secure ballot drop box in your county.

The Governor’s Race

Republican Debate Schedule

Tuesday, May 25, 2021 7pm The WKXW (101.5)/Trenton station will host a one hour debate. The debate format includes questions from listeners who will call in, email, post questions to social media.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021 8 pm A live virtual primary debate between Republican gubernatorial candidates Jack Ciattarelli and Hirsh Singh on NJ PBS. The public is asked to submit questions for the candidates.

The Candidates

Four Republicans have declared their candidacy to oust Democrat incumbent Gov. Phil Murphy. The winner of the primary election will get to challenge the current Gov. Phil Murphy, who is running unopposed under the Democratic ticket. The candidates include Brian D. Levine, Jack Ciattarelli, Hirsh V. Singh, and Philip Rizzo.

Policies and Proposals

Because New Jersey is one of only two states to elect a governor in the year after a presidential election (Virginia is the other), its shaping up as one of the nation’s earliest electoral judgments on the Trump years. Can the GOP frontrunner, Jack Ciattarelli, steer clear of Donald Trump?

Ciattarelli’s platform is centered on relaxing pandemic-related restrictions and reinvigorating the New Jersey economy in the wake of the health crisis. Brian Levine describes himself as  fiscally conservative but not ideologically, maintaining that his occupational background as a CPA would benefit New Jersey’s economic compass. Hirsh V Singh trying to paint himself as the more pro-Trump Republican and Ciattarelli as too moderate. Phillip Rizzo, an avowed supporter of former president Trump, takes a pro-life stance and has never run for political office.


Ciattarelli and Gov. Phil Murphy are the only candidates to qualify for public funds, which caps candidates at spending $7.3 million during the primary election.

Because Ciattarelli is accepting state matching funds for his campaign and because Singh raised enough money in donations, they are required to debate. Rizzo failed to qualify for the debate as he reportedly missed the deadline to file paperwork and that “deficiencies” were included in the papers he did submit. Rizzo is a former businessman in the construction and real estate industries. A state appellate court ruled May 20 that Rizzo missed the deadline to file, according to the New Jersey Globe.

The New Jersey State Legislature Elections

The New Jersey Senate has 40 members, and the New Jersey General Assembly has 80 members. One Senator and two Assembly Members will be elected from each of the 40 districts of New Jersey. Assembly members hold two year terms, while Senators hold four year terms.

In the past, New Jersey used the decennial Census survey to redraw legislative maps in time for its odd-year state elections. This time, New Jersey delayed redistricting as a result of a constitutional amendment approved by voters last November. This controversial vote guaranteed that districts, last drawn in 2011, would stay in place. ““What we have for [the next] two years now is a map that does not reflect ‘one person, one vote,’ where folks are getting their rightful representation in the legislature”.

Your District’s Candidates

Is your district having a Primary contest? Confirm what your legislative district is. See if it is listed below. These are all of the candidates in the New Jersey State Senate Primary and the New Jersey General Assembly Primary.

Major Legislative Districts Primary Contests

If you live in the districts below, research how each candidate is addressing issues that are important to you . Local newspapers are severely limited and online news sources often have a money wall. Search social media sites and contact the campaigns for more information and volunteer opportunities. These local races in November make up the foundation of this Democracy.

District 2 State Senate Race
Two Republicans are seeking their party’s nod to try to replace GOP Sen. Chris Brown in Atlantic County’s 2nd District. Vincent Polistina, who represented the district in the Assembly nine years ago, is up against Seth Grossman, who fared better than expected in his 2018 loss to Jeff Van Drew for the 2nd Congressional District seat.

Ocean County’s 10th District Assembly Race
Incumbents Assemblymen John Catalano and Gregory McGuckin received the GOP endorsement. Running as Conservative Republicans are two Toms River residents, Geraldine Ambrosio and Brian Quinn.Word is that Quinn and Ambrosio are running under the ticket led by New Jersey gubernatorial candidate, conservative Hirsh Singh. Neither have websites.

District 16
For friends and family:
There are primary contests for both the Assembly and Senate
in the 16th District, which spans parts of Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset counties.

State Senate Race
Two Republicans are vying for their party’s nomination for Senate: Michael Pappas, a former congressman from Branchburg and Jeffrey Grant of Belle Mead. Issues are centered around how the state is handling the pandemic, economic recovery, taxation , “political, ethnic and gender radicalism in our public schools” and preserving the second amendment. The winner will face the Democratic Senate Candidate Andrew Zwicker in November.
Assembly Race
Three Democrats filed for two Assembly slots: Incumbent Assemblyman Roy Freiman of Hillsborough is running with former Montgomery Mayor Sadaf Jaffer. Faris Zwirahn of Princeton is also competing for a seat.

Proposals in this race include an economic recovery that creates green jobs, promotes civil and human rights, and empowers an inclusive public health approach to COVID-19. Another candidate has a focus on policies that impact the most marginalized residents of the state, child care subsidies and restorative justice alternatives. Imagining a future that includes tax breaks for restaurants and small businesses, and expanding access to quality healthcare and mental health services are priorities for a third candidate.

The 18th District in Middlesex County.
Two full slates of candidates are contesting the Democratic primary.

State Senate Race
Two Democrats are running for Senate: Incumbent Senator Patrick Diegnan Jr. and Mohin Patel of Edison. The Democratic party endorsed Senator Diegnan.
Assembly Race
Democrat incumbents Robert Karabinchak and Sterley Stanley are running against Lisa Salem of Edison and Maurice Alfaro Sr. of Metuchen. The new candidates are running under the slogan Middlesex Democratic Party. Two candidates have neither web nor social media sites.

The 20th District
The 20th District that includes Elizabeth and other Union County municipalities has the largest field of any in the state, with crowded Democratic primaries for both the Senate and Assembly.

State Senate Race
Democrat incumbent Senator Joseph Cryan is running against candidate Jamel Holley.
Assembly Race
Incumbent Assembly Member Annette Quijano and candidate Rev. Reginald Atkins received the Union County party endorsement. They are running against Democrat candidates Christian Velez and Diane Murray-Clements of Hillside. Progressive Democrats Ricky Castaneda and Aissa Heath of Elizabeth are also in the race.

The 21st District Assembly Race
Three Republicans are vying for two Assembly seats which encompasses parts of Union, Morris and Somerset counties. Incumbent Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz is running with Michele Matsikoudis with party backing. Jennifer Makar of Roselle Park also running.

The 26th District Assembly Race
Three Republicans are seeking the nod for two Assembly seats in the 26th District, which spans parts of Morris, Essex and Passaic counties. The filings indicate incumbents Jay Webber and BettyLou DeCroce are bracketed together. The third candidate, who got the endorsement in Morris County, the largest portion of the district, is Christian Barranco of Oak Ridge.

The 30th District Assembly Race
Three Republicans are seeking two Assembly nominations in the 30th District, which covers parts of Monmouth and Ocean counties. Incumbents Assemblymen Sean Kean and Edward Thomson are facing a challenge from Alter Eliezer Richter.

The 37th District
Two full slates of Democrats are vying in Bergen County’s 37th District, where Sen. Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg’s retirement has set off an intraparty battle.

Senate Race
Assemblyman Gordon Johnson, who received the Bergen County Democratic Committee’s endorsement, is running against Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle, campaigning under the slogan “Real Bergen Democrats”.
Assembly Race
Shama Haider of Tenafly and Ellen Park of Englewood Cliffs are seeking the seats and are opposed by Gervonn Romney-Rice of Teaneck and Lauren Dayton of Tenafly.

The League of Women Voters are sponsoring a candidate’s forum for Democrats running for Senate and Assembly seats in the 37th District primary. The forum is scheduled for May 26 at 7:30 p.m.

The 39th District Assembly Race

Four Republicans are vying for two Assembly seats. Incumbents Assemblyman Robert Auth and Assemblywoman DeAnne DeFuccio are facing John Azzariti and Jonathan Kurpis.

Local Elections

Local Town, Village, and County Primary elections are being held throughout the states of New York and New Jersey. Find out what’s happening in your community. Get involved.

Lambertville, New Jersey – Democratic Primary

After a competitive election in June 2018, former longtime mayor David Del Vecchio and newcomer Andrew Nowick will be running against each other in the Democratic Primary for the nomination to run for mayor of Lambertville in 2021. When asked what the biggest issues he would prioritize if elected mayor, Nowick said encouraging more civic engagement, helping the city recover from the COVID pandemic and focusing on the state of the city’s municipal buildings. Del Vecchio cited his top three issues as being holding taxes and spending; having more consistent services; and meeting climate change goals.

More recently, former mayor Dave Delvecchio and Andrew Nowick answered a range of questions regarding the growth of city debt, keeping property taxes low, protecting the Lambertville water system, and many other issues of concern at a recent Candidates Forum.
I have known Andrew Nowick for many years and can attest to his brilliance and diligence, in addition to his commitment to transparency and accountability.

Flemington Borough Council, New Jersey – Democratic Primary

Incumbents Council Member Chris Runion, and Council President Caitin Giles-McCormick are joined by are running for two Council seats. Mayor Driver has supported Rosetti and Giles-McCormick. Rosetti has also won the support of the New Jersey Young Democrats. I could only find information on Liz Rosetti from her 2020 campaign.

All three candidates had the opportunity introduce themselves to voters, and answer questions gathered from recent news articles and questions contributed by residents at a recent Candidates Forum.

Next Post: Update on NY and NJ Primaries, and ongoing Civic Engagement

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New York City’s Primary Races 2021

New York City’s Races

New York has a closed primary system, where only those with a party affiliation can vote in party primary elections. The Democratic Party holds the majority of the city’s public offices. Sixty-eight percent of registered voters in NYC are Democrats. There are pockets of Republican strength in some sections of Brooklyn and Queens and a large Republican stronghold in Staten Island.

The primary is, in essence, more important than November’s general election for most races. Efforts have been made to encourage Republicans and Independents to switch to the Democratic Party in order to influence the results. In fact, 88K voters shifted from Republican or Independent to the Democratic Party ahead of the primary election.

The offices of Mayor, Comptroller, Public Advocate, Borough President, and City Council are part of this crucial election primary for a city of 8.4 million residents. Listed below are the candidates websites, interviews, finances, endorsements and policy statements.

NYC Residents: Dates to Remember

Friday, May 28: Deadline for voter registration
Saturday, June 12: Early voting begins
Tuesday, June 22 Primary Election Day

Debate Schedule

Thursday, May 13 Mayoral Democratic Debate 7-9 pm Spectrum News NY1
Wednesday, May 26 Mayoral Republican Debate 7-8pm Spectrum News NY1
Wednesday, June 2 Mayoral Democratic Debate 7-9pm WABC-TV
Sunday, June 6 Republican “Leading Contenders” Debate Time TBD WABC-TV
Thursday, June 10 Comptroller Democratic Debate 7-8pm Spectrum News NY1
Wednesday, June 16 Democratic “Leading Contenders” Debate 7-8pm WNBC-TV
Sunday, June 20 Comptroller “Leading Contenders” Debate 9:30-10:30 am WNBC-TV

Absentee Balloting

All voters may request an absentee ballot, using COVID-19 as an excuse, for the June primary and even the November general election. This means that no voter will need to put their health at risk to make their voice heard in our city elections.”

How to get your absentee ballot in NY?

Apply online
Or call 1-866-VOTE-NYC
Download it. New York State Absentee Ballot application.
Then Email it to apply4absentee@boe.nyc
or print and mail it to your borough’s Board of Elections office
or drop it off at that office

A New Way to Vote in NYC
Ranked Choice Voting

New Yorkers elected to use Ranked Choice Voting in a 2019 ballot measure. It passed with 73.5% support. NYC will use Ranked Choice Voting in primary and special elections for local offices: Mayor, Public Advocate, Comptroller, Borough President, and City Council. The first citywide election with Ranked Choice Voting will be the Primary Election on June 22, 2021

You can rank up to five candidates in order of preference, instead of choosing just one. If a candidate receives more than 50% of first-choice votes, they are the winner. If no candidate earns more than 50% of first-choice votes, then counting will continue in rounds. At the end of each round, the candidate with the fewest votes will be eliminated.

Ranked Choice Voting gives voters more say in who gets elected. Even if your first-choice candidate does not win, you are still able to affect the outcome by supporting your 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or even 5th choice. You can mark as many or as few as you wish. The New York City Board of Elections has mailed each voter a paper packet reviewing this new procedure.

You, the Voter

Become informed. Attend virtual and/or in person campaign events. Follow their social media sites. Watch the debates. Donate. Volunteer. Decide which candidates will receive your support. Create a list of up to five candidates in the order of preference for each public office.

The Mayor of the City of New York

The Mayor is the city’s top executive and gets to set goals, initiatives, and plans of action. She/he is responsible for preparing and administering the City’s annual Expense and Capital Budgets and financial plan. New York City’s budget serving 8.4 million residents is currently $92 billion. The mayor also chooses the heads of every city agency, like the Department of Social Services, Department of Education and the NYPD, and can approve or veto each piece of legislation passed by the City Council. It is a four year term.


Four candidates currently make up the top tier of the thirteen Democratic contenders, according to available polling and interviews with elected officials and party strategists. There is Andrew Yang, the undisputed poll leader; Eric Adams, the Brooklyn borough president; Scott Stringer, City Comptroller; and Maya D. Wiley, a former counsel to Mayor Bill de Blasio and a former MSNBC analyst.

The race appears fluid enough for a candidate to break out late. This includes the next four Democrats : Raymond McGuire, former vice chairman at Citigroup; Kathryn Garcia, former Sanitation Commissioner; Shaun Donovan, former federal housing secretary and White House budget director; and Diane Morales, a former nonprofit executive.

Maya Wiley has an extensive and diverse resume, working inside and mostly outside of government. Kathryn Garcia is everyone’s favorite – for second place. Eric Adams has spent his career serving the City – and making controversial moves along the way. Andrew Yang is running for mayor of New York City as a bold thinker and entrepreneur. But his results have been uneven. Diane Morales is an unashamedly progressive candidate who would also be New York City’s first Afro-Latina mayor. There are five things you should know about Raymond McGuire. Shaun Donovan has been a go-to-guy for emergencies. Can he lead NYC post pandemic?

Scott Stringer was recently accused of sexual assault. He denied the allegation. All three major female Democratic candidates have called on Stringer to drop out of the primary. While he has lost crucial supporters in his drive to become mayor, other backers have stood by him.

The remaining 5 Democratic candidates are not as well known until now and include Isaac Wright Jr., lawyer; Art Chang, former managing director at JPMorgan Chase; Paperboy Prince, rapper and Congressional candidate; Jocelyn Taylor, chief executive of a general contracting firm; and Aaron Foldenauer, lawyer.

The two Republicans running for mayor include Curtis Sliwa, radio talk show host and founder of the Guardian Angels, and Fernando Mateo, restaurant operator and former leader of a trade group for cabdrivers


Organizations, labor and public figures have stepped up to endorse Eric Adams, Shaun Donovan, Kathryn Garcia, Ray McGuire, Diane Morales, Scott Stringer, Maya Wiley, Isaac Wright Jr., and Andrew Yang. Public figures and business leaders have also endorsed Raymond McGuire . Women’s groups have backed Wiley and more updates on the leading candidates in the 8 weeks to go before the primary. The Working Families Party has endorsed Wiley, Morales, and Stringer. This is who is endorsing the mayoral candidates as of May 3. Candidate websites list their endorsements as well, often under the Press title.

Political parties and public figures have endorsed the two Republican candidates.


New York City’s Campaign Finance Board matches small contributions from NYC residents allowing candidates who participate to receive up to $2,000 in public funds per eligible contributor. Numerous candidates have raised enough money to qualify for these public matching funds which can reach into the millions of dollars. In addition, candidate super PACs are flooding money into the New York mayoral election and are raising ethic concerns.

The New York City campaign finance summaries are updated daily. Raymond J. McGuire, Scott Stringer, Eric Adams, Shaun Donovan and Andrew Yang have the highest amount of private funds to date respectively. Candidates with the highest amount of public funds to date include Eric Adams, Scott Stringer, Andrew Yang, Maya Wiley, Fernando Mateo, Diane Morales and Shaun Donovan in that order.

The new mayor will be in charge of a city budget in the billions of dollars. How do they manage their own finances? Seven candidates provided tax information, and one refused.

Policies and Proposals

Documented and City & State asked eight Democratic mayoral candidates about their plans for the city’s immigrant residents. The same Democratic candidates were asked about police reform and lowering crime while raising confidence in the city’s police and law enforcement. Their positions on the economy range from Baby Bonds to a Universal Basic Income. They outlined their priorities on education and the possibility of running the country’s largest school system. The candidates shared their visions and strategies for prioritizing the city’s hundreds of miles of coastline as part of their climate change and economic recovery plan. Campaign websites, linked above, provide policy positions for all thirteen mayoral candidates


The Comptroller manages and audits the city’s coffers, while playing a key oversight role on city contracts — and many of the borough president seats. This money manager prepares audits and oversee how city agencies are spending their money, manages the city’s public pension funds — the largest in the world at $224.8 billion as of October 2020 – and issues bonds to help pay for large projects. The office is responsible for approving public borrowing, serves as the city’s chief auditor and reviews tens of thousands of contracts.

Those roles will be even more important given the financial difficulties caused by the pandemic. The city had a 20 percent unemployment rate, and is still projecting hefty future budget gaps. The comptroller will have an important role in overseeing how $6 billion in federal stimulus is spent. It is a four year term.


This year’s comptroller race revolves around five elected Democratic officials: Brad Lander, NYC Councilman; Brian Benjamin, a state senator representing Harlem and the Upper West Side; Kevin Parker, a state senator from Brooklyn; and David Weprin, a state assemblyman from Queens. Lastly, a surprise late candidate, Corey Johnson, City Council Speaker, has clearly shaken up this key NYC election.

Two Democratic candidates still considered to be in the lead include Michele Caruso-Cabrera, CNBC financial journalist; and Zachary Iscol, cofounder of Headstrong and Task & Purpose

The remaining four Democrats include Terri Liftin, attorney and legal compliance expert; Chris McNickle, finance and banking background, author; Alex K. Pan, college student; and Reshma Patel, public finance, e-commerce, and data analytics.

The two Republicans running for Comptroller include Daby Carreras, money manager and John Tobacco, t.v. host on BizTV former Wall Street trader.


Brad Lander has the endorsement of Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s in addition to U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, the Working Families Party, Make the Road Action and New York Communities for Change. Other organizations, labor and public figures have stepped up to endorse Brian Benjamin, Corey Johnson, Brad Lander, and David Weprin. Candidate websites list their endorsements as well, often under the Press title.


Comptroller candidates Brad Lander, Zachary Iscol, Corey Johnson, Brian Benjamin, David Weprin, Michele Caruso, and Kevin Parker have the highest amount of private funds to date respectively. The highest amount of public funds to date include Corey Johnson, Brad Lander, Zachary Iscol, Brian Benjamin and David Weprin in that order.

Policies and Proposals

Seven Democratic candidates shared proposals and goals for their term as Comptroller. Multiple ideas to focus on minority owned businesses, the NYPD budget, an audit of city agencies, a five borough investment strategy, affordable housing, use of the federal infusion of money, an NYC Land Bank, clean energy, and returns on pension investments. But who is the best fit for this fiscal/management/political job? The top six candidates all pitched themselves to the city’s chambers of commerce at a Feb. 2 forum hosted by the Five Borough Chamber Alliance. Campaign websites, linked above, provide more positions and proposals.

Public Advocate

The Public Advocate is an official watchdog for city policies and priorities — as well as for any bad actors the office sees fit to call out. The office of the public advocate looks into complaints from New Yorkers about all kinds of things — from city programs or agencies to tenant gripes about private landlords — and raises awareness on issues through written reports, research studies, news conferences, lawsuits, even rallies and protests. The office-holder has no vote in the City Council, but can introduce bills or co-sponsor them with members. The public advocate is also first in line to City Hall should the mayor become unable to fulfill the duties of the office.


Jumaane Williams (D) has been public advocate since 2019 and previously served as the City Council representative for Brooklyn’s District 45. Theo Chino (D) is a French-born bitcoin entrepreneur and system engineer who joined the Democratic Socialists of America in 2018. Anthony Herbert (I) is is a longtime anti-violence activist and media consultant from Brooklyn. Devi Nampiaparampil (R) is a physician and professor at the NYU School of Medicine and television health commentator.

Policies and Proposals

As public advocate, Jumaane Williams introduced legislation to the City Council on housing and criminal justice issues as well as published reports on topics such as the mental health crisis and the chronic underfunding of CUNY. Theo Chino would support efforts to fix the MTA and improve housing for New Yorkers. Anthony Herbert will focus on affordable housing, sex trafficking, and criminal justice. Devi Nampiaparampil wants to prioritize jobs, incentive pay and Covid 19 recovery. Candidate websites, linked above, provide more information.


Candidate websites list their endorsements as well, often under the Press title.


Public Advocate candidates are listed on the NYC Campaign Finance Board. Jumaane Williams leads with the most amount of private funding, followed by Anthony Herbert, Theo Chino and Devi Nampiaparampil respectively. No candidates have used public funds.

Borough President

The Borough President largely serves as an ambassador for their borough with a direct line to the mayor or even governor to discuss prevailing issues impacting their corner of New York City. She/he appoints half the members to a borough’s community boards; one member to the Panel for Educational Policy to decide on school-related matters; and one member to the City Planning Commission that reviews zoning applications. Like the public advocate, a borough president can propose legislation through a Council member who then introduces the bill “at the behest of the borough president.” They have influence over land use and development projects in their borough. They are empowered to offer an advisory vote during what is often a lengthy public review process. And they can do this by holding public hearings on any proposed rezoning, using it as an auxiliary bully pulpit to make the case for or against a rezoning.

Brooklyn (pop. 2.6M) 14 Candidates

Robert Cornegy (D); Kimberly Council (D); Khari Edwards (D); Robert Elstein (D); Mathieu Eugene (D); Pearlene Fields (D); Anthony T. Jones (D); Trisha Ocona (D); Shanduke McPhatter (D); Menachem Raitport (R and C); Robert Ramos Jr. (D); Antonio Reynoso (D); Jo Anne Simon (D); and Lamor Whitehead-Miller (D)

Joanne Simon, Robert Cornegy, Antonio Reynoso, Khari Edwards and Kimberly Council are the leading private fund and public fund raisers to date respectively. The top tier include Council members and an Assembly member and have received numerous endorsements. The candidates in this highly competitive race offered specifics on Brooklyn’s lack of affordable housing, the future of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), large-scale re-zonings, criminal justice, transit infrastructure, coastal resiliency, and more. Specific policy proposals on candidates’ websites.

Queens (pop. 2.3M) 7 Candidates

Elizabeth Crowley (D); Danniel Maio (R); Stan Morse (D); Donovan Richards (D); Diana Sanchez (D), Jimmy Van Bramer (D); Thomas Zmich (R and C),

Jimmy VanBramer, Donovan Richards and Elizabeth Crowley have the highest amount of private funds to date respectively. Elizabeth Crowley, Jimmy VanBramer and Donovan Richards have the highest amount of public funding in that order. Donovan Richards, the present Queens Borough President, has received a large number of endorsements. Van Bramer has won support from the progressive wing of the party, while Crowley considers herself a moderate. Transportation, infrastructure, public safety and affordable housing remain a priority in this race. The candidates present what they believe are the top three most pressing issues facing the borough of Queens.

Manhattan (pop 1.6M) 9 Candidates

Lindsey Boylan (D); Elizabeth Caputo (D); Brad Hoylman (D); Benjamin Kallos (D); Mark Levine (D); Michael Lewyn (L); Guillermo Perez (D); Louis Puliafito (R); Kimberly Watkins (D)

Mark Levine, Brad Hoylman, Benjamin Kallos, Lindsey Boylan and Elizabeth Caputo have the highest amount of private funds to date respectively. Candidates with the highest amount of public funds to date include Brad Hoylman, Mark Levine, Benjamin Kallos, Elizabeth Caputo and Linksey Boylan, in that order. Candidate websites list their endorsements as well, often under the Press title. Hunter College offered a forum on April 6 which offered a chance for the leading candidates to discuss the issues of affordable housing, education, economic justice, transportation, and environmentalism.

The Bronx (pop. 1.4M) 7 Candidates

Fernando Cabrera (D); Nathalia Fernandez (D); Vanessa Gibson (D); Samuel Ravelo (D and C); Luis Sepulveda (D)

Fernando Cabrera, Nathalia Fernandez, Vanessa Gibson, and Luis Sepulveda have the highest amount of private funds to date respectively. Candidates with the highest amount of public funds to date include Fernando Cabrera, Vanessa Gibson, Nathalia Fernandez and Luis Sepulveda , in that order. A Republican leaning police union and the the Northwest Bronx Democrats have endorsed Fernando Cabrera. City & State recently spoke with Cabrera about why he is running for the Bronx’s top job. Nathalia Fernandez accused Cabrera of being a bigot in an editorial. Vanessa Gibson received endorsements from major union and public officials . Candidate Luis Sepulveda was arrested on a charge that he choked his estranged wife. The leading candidates were asked what the three most pressing issues their borough is facing, and their opinions on housing, health care, crime and economic development. News 12 offers extensive video interviews with each.

Staten Island (pop. 476K)

Lorie Honor (D); Mark Murphy (D); Steven Matteo (R); Radhakrishna Mohan (D); Leticia Remauro (R and C); Brandon Stradford (D); Cesar Vargas (D) and Jhong Kim (R);

Steven Matteo, Leticia Remauro, Mark Murphy and Lorraine Honor have the highest amount of private funds to date respectively. The four candidates with the highest amount of public funds to date include Steven Matteo, Lorraine Honor, Leticia Rermauro and Mark Murphy , in that order. Staten Island political committees did weigh in. Right now, City Councilmember Stephen Matteo and author and business owner Leticia Remauro are vying for the Republican nomination for borough president. Leticia Remauro sparked an uproar by invoking Hitler at a rally against Gov. Cuomo’s pandemic restrictions on small businesses. History suggests Republicans will easily retain the Staten Island borough presidency, an office they have held since 1989. But Lorie Honor, one of three Democrats in the borough president race or considering it, says she thinks the seat is winnable. Michael Murphy, another Democrat has been endorsed by the Staten Island Democratic Party. Leading issues in Staten Island include housing, transportation, and public safety.

District Attorney

A District Attorney is the top prosecutor for a town, city, county or state. In New York City, each borough, which are each a separate county, has its own district attorney. The DA has wide latitude on what and how to prosecute, whether to seek bail and in what manner plea bargains are made. The DA election will NOT use the much talked about ranked choice voting

Manhattan District Attorney


Eight Democratic candidates are competing to become the borough’s top prosecutor. It’s the only competitive DA race in the city this year. Tahanie Aboushi , a human rights attorney; Alvin Bragg , chief deputy attorney general for New York State; Liz Crotty, previous assistant district attorney, Tali Farhadian Weinstein, previous  general counsel for the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, Diana Florence, Manhattan DA prosecutor; Lucy Lang, previous prosecutor at Manhattan District Attorney’s Office; Eliza Orlins , public defender for Legal Aid Society, and Dan Quart, State Assembly Member. Thomas Kenniff , a military Judge Advocate General, is the one Republican in the race.

Endorsements & Financial Statements

Endorsements can be found on the candidates’ websites. The latest financial information I could attain for everyone was back in January. More recently questions have been raised about Tali Farhadian Weinstein’s $2.2 million war chest which is far more than her rivals in the Manhattan district attorney race. Her opponents, legal ethicists and good government advocates have raised questions about that support, pointing out that the Manhattan district attorney, by virtue of geography, has jurisdiction over a large number of financial crimes.

Platforms and Proposals

Whoever wins this election could transform law enforcement in America’s biggest city with policies aiming to imprison fewer people. The winner will also inherit one of the nation’s most politically fraught cases: a criminal investigation into former president Donald Trump’s business dealings. Nearly all said they would jail fewer people for minor crimes and address systemic racial bias. Most would eliminate or curtail cash bail, which they argue disproportionately impacts poor defendants. The election is being watched as a test of what a borough considered to be a liberal bastion wants from its head prosecutor, and just how deeply voters want the criminal justice system to change. Aboushi, Orlins and Quart have argued that the core work of the district attorney’s office needs to be revamped, shifting toward reducing incarceration and cutting back prosecution of low-level crimes. Bragg, Lang, Weinstein and Florence largely agree. But they have pitched themselves as occupying a middle ground, focused on less sweeping changes. Crotty has been less vocal in calling for systemic change.

Brooklyn District Attorney

Eric Gonzalez, the Brooklyn district attorney, will run again for his seat. So far, no challengers have declared in the race, state campaign records show.

City Council

All 51 Council district seats in the New York City’s legislative body have an election this year. City Council members are responsible for proposing and voting on bills relating to all aspects of civic life. Bills passed by the Council go to the mayor for to be signed into law. It can override a veto from the mayor with a vote of at least two-thirds of the members. The Council also negotiates with the mayor to pass the city budget every year. Each member has his or her own discretionary budget to fund local projects and groups. The Council holds oversight hearings through its many committees. And, critically, the body votes to approve or reject development projects that need public approval.

The League of Women Voters and/or the New York City Council website will help you determine what district you live in. This is a map of candidates running in each Council district in the city.

I’ve profiled a few Council races. Feel free to use this model to inform your own decision. Once you’ve determined who your candidates are, research newspaper stories on that race. Use their websites to see where they stand on the policies important to you. The New York City Campaign Finance Board will give you a daily profile of their fund raising efforts to date.

District 1 – Manhattan – all Democrats

Christopher Marte, Jenny Low, Maud Maron, Susan Damplo and Gigi Li have the highest amount of private funds to date, respectively. The candidates with the highest amount of public funds, in order are Maud Maron, Gigi Li, Jenny Low, Christopher Marte, and Susan Lee. The leading five candidates websites provide endorsements and platforms for issues facing the district. Development in lower Manhattan, a planned jail and socioeconomic recovery will be front and center in this crowded race for lower Manhattan.

District 4 – Manhattan

Incumbent Democrat Keith Powers is running unopposed for re-election. The NYC Campaign Finance Board reports his private funds to date. His focus will be on navigating a fiscal crisis, strengthening the social safety net, securing housing protections for tenants, and addressing the continued disparities in this city. He is a member of the NewDEAL, a selective national network of exceptional, rising, pro-growth progressive state and local elected leaders.

District 7 – Manhattan – all Democrats

Marti Allen-Cummings, Shaun Abreu, Daniel Cohen, Raymond Sanchez, and Stacy Lynch have the highest amount of private funds to date, respectively. Four candidates; Daniel Cohen, Maria Ordonez, Marti Allen-Cummings and Shaun Abreu, are in a tie for substantial public funds. This is followed by Luis Tejada, Stacy Lynch, Corey Ortega and Raymond Sanchez in that order. Candidates’ websites provide endorsements and platforms for issues facing the district. Eight candidates addressed long-standing issues like housing inaccessibility, environmental concerns, and education reform to the Columbia Daily Spectator.

District 32 – Queens

Kaled Alamarie, Felicia Singh, Shaeleigh Severino, Michael Scala, and Helal Sheikh have the highest amount of private funds to date, respectively. Felicia Singh and Kaled Alamarie are in a tie for first place in public funds, followed by Michael Scala, Helal Sheikh, Joanne Ariola and Kenichi Wilson. Candidates’ websites provide endorsements and platforms for issues facing the district. The candidates discuss issues such as economic recovery, infrastructure, education, environmental resilience and public safety.

District 35 – Brooklyn – all Democrats

Crystal Hudson, Michael Hollingsworth, and Curtis Harris have the highest amount of private funds to date, respectively. Crystal Hudson and Michael Hollingsworth are in a tie for first place in public funds, followed by Curtis Harris and Regina Kinsey. Candidates’ websites provide endorsements and platforms for issues facing the district. Crystal Hudson is in a tight race with fellow progressive Michael Hollingsworth, a tenant activist. Affordable housing, increasing development, education and police reform are among the issues facing these candidates.

District 36 – Brooklyn – all Democrats

Chi Osse, Henry Butler, Robert Waterman and Tahirah Moore have the highest amount of private funds to date, respectively. Chi Osse and Henry Butler are in a tie for first place in public funds, followed by Robert Waterman and Tahirah Moore. Candidates’ websites provide endorsements and platforms for issues facing the district. The candidates discussed the issues facing the district including the crises of gun violence, a lack of affordable housing, deed theft, struggling small businesses, and deteriorating conditions in public housing.

District 39 – Brooklyn – all Democrats

Briget Rein, Shahana Hanif, Brandon West, Justin Krebs, Douglas Schneider and Mamnunul Haq have the highest amount of private funds to date, respectively. Douglas Schneider, Justin Krebs and Shahana Hanif are in a tie for first place in public funds, followed by Brandon West and Mamnunul Haq in a tie in second place, followed by Briget Rein. The six leading candidates have a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. They discussed the issues of affordable housing, infrastructure, economic recovery and land use to the Brooklyn Paper.

District 50 – Staten Island

Marko Kepi, David Carr, Sal Albanese and Sam Pirozzolo have the highest amount of private funds to date, respectively. David Carr and Marko Kepi are in a tie for first place in public funds, followed by Sal Albanese and Sam Pirozzolo. Candidates’ websites provide endorsements and platforms for issues facing the district. Some candidates discussed their platforms on economic recovery, education, public safety and taxes.

How Important Are Endorsements?

It varies. For neighborhood-based races like the City Council, an endorsement from an influential political club, progressive coalition or popular community leader can make all the difference. I have often been informed by the United Federation of Teachers endorsements as they scrutinize the candidate education policies. As a CUNY alumni, I also trust the judgement of the Professional Staff Congress . The Scott Stringer accusation has changed the most recent mayoral endorsements . In the end, it’s my own decision to make based on the candidates’s policies, experience and community involvement.

Next Post: Nassau, Suffolk County, NY and New Jersey races.

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Staying Engaged with My Legislators

The Logistics:

  1. My state senator once told a town hall group of constituents they’d be surprised at how a small group of citizens can affect policy change. Your phone call, email, letter and participation will make a difference. Common Cause will help you identify who your federal, state and local legislators are. Click “find your representative” on the top bar.
  2. List your representatives names, addresses, and phone numbers on a desktop document with links to their contact email. Save this information in your Contact List. It’s far easier to respond when contact information is easily accessible.
  3. Locate their Facebook, Instagram and website pages for updated information. Many use live broadcasts from social media sites.
  4. Find out what’s happening in your state and locality. Stay informed through newspapers, advocacy groups, webinars, zoom meetings, and newsletters. Social media sites often alert you to upcoming events.
  5. Create a message that’s simple and to the point.
  6. All legislators need to hear your opinion, regardless of party affiliation.
  7. Find out how local and statewide candidates stand on the issues of importance to you.

Climate Change

New York City

I plan to urge Governor Cuomo not to approve the repowering of The Gowanus Fracked Gas Plant, operated by Astoria Generating Company. Activists at a recent rally feel that the repowering does not fit in with the city’s ambitious climate goals. The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) pledges New York to 100% zero-emission electricity by 2040.  Present at the rally was State Senator Brisport who recently introduced a bill, known as the Pollution Justice Act of 2021, that would bar all “peaker” plants in New York State from renewing their license unless they commit to 100% renewable energy.The repowering proposal brings up environmental justice concerns. Patrick Houston, organizer with New York Communities for Change, said, “we can no longer sacrifice, black communities, and Latinx communities, and all communities of color, and their health and their well being and their dignity.” The plants currently contribute to pollution in South Brooklyn, specifically Gowanus and Sunset Park which are primarily working-class communities of color.

New Jersey

New Jersey citizens must reach out to Senator Booker, Senator Menendez and Congressman Malinowski to express your distress with the Biden Administration’s decision in supporting the Penn East pipeline before the U.S. Supreme Court. Environmentalists were dismayed by the Biden administration’s move. Maya K. van Rossum, head of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, said the Justice Department’s decision to support PennEast in the case “is an abuse of power and trust and a failure of the current administration to do its duty to protect people and our environment.” The NJ Sierra Club and every municipality in Hunterdon County is on the record as opposing the proposed PennEast natural gas pipeline. The NJ Sierra Club is concerned that the route would destroy open space, farmland, and historic sites; that the fracking gold rush is leaving NJ crisscrossed by unnecessary pipelines; and that the emphasis on extraction of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, is steering us away from sources of clean, renewable energy.

Criminal Justice Reform


My Congressional Representative Lydia Valazquez will hear about my approval of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. I will contact my NY Senator Charles Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand about their support. Senate Democrats will have to sway at least 10 Republican members for the bill to pass. The bill that would ban chokeholds and alter so-called qualified immunity for law enforcement, which would make it easier to pursue claims of police misconduct. The wide-ranging legislation would also ban no-knock warrants in certain cases, mandate data collection on police encounters, prohibit racial and religious profiling and redirect funding to community-based policing programs.

New York City

The second phase of the City’s police reform was announced today with the aim of undoing the legacy and harm of racialized policing. The New York City Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative hopes to bring greater accountability to the NYPD, make New York City residency a more significant factor in hiring officers, and end the poverty-to prison-pipeline. I plan to add my comments to the draft plan.

Last June, the New York State Legislature and Governor Cuomo repealed a section of the civil rights law known as 50-a as it had prevented the public from seeing most law enforcement disciplinary records. Unions had opposed a new state transparency law on the grounds that it would unfairly taint the reputations of police officers, endangering them and affecting their future employment. An Appeals Court, however, approved the release of such records. Last week the NYPD released these secret records. Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Dermot F. Shea have said that releasing the records would allow the nation’s largest police department to respond to public demands for accountability and transparency by showing it has a strong disciplinary system.

Legislators to contact: Mayor, City Council Representative, Governor, State Senator and State Assembly Representative. I communicate my support of specific local police reforms.


Why do grand juries decline to indict police officers? What happens in a court of law? I will contact my state legislators and ask them to raise the standard for the use of lethal force by police from “objectively reasonable” to “necessary,”. They should also create a special unit within the state attorney general’s office to handle the investigation and prosecution of killings by police officers in order to address the conflict of interest that local prosecutors necessarily face in handling cases. Finally, legislators should make it easier to sue police officers by eliminating the qualified immunity doctrine, which is a defense that enables rights-violating police to escape liability if it was not “clearly established” that the particular misconduct they engaged in was unlawful at the time they committed it. In addition legislators should require all officers to carry professional liability insurance.

Legislators to Contact: Your Governor, State Senator and State Assembly Representative and request these reforms.

New Jersey

New Jersey police have new guidelines on when they can hit, chase or shoot suspects under the first overhaul of the state’s use-of-force policy in two decades. The position of attorney general is uniquely powerful in New Jersey because the duties of the office include direct oversight of all the state’s law enforcement officers, from neighborhood cops to county prosecutors. The process of rewriting the policy was announced a year ago and included input from law enforcement groups, civil rights and religious organizations and more than a thousand comments from the public. These new rules are following a comprehensive Excellence In Policing Initiative which includes the major components of Professionalism, Accountability and Transparency . Multiple webinars around the state are informing communities about the policy which includes de-escalating situations of citizen resistance, and mandating conflict resolution tactics before exerting forceful methods of restraint.

Legislators to Contact: Contact Governor Murphy, State Senator and your Assembly Representative and show your support for these guidelines.

Disinformation Campaigns


Statehouses around the nation are seeing the rise of the “Stolen Election” myth as a smoke screen to to change the rules of voting and representation — and enhance their own political clout. The national Republican Party joined the movement this past week by setting up a Committee on Election Integrity to scrutinize state election laws, echoing similar moves by Republicans in a number of state legislatures.

New Jersey

A local county official who attended the “Stop The Steal” rally before the riot in Washington DC has heard from her constituents on a regular basis, asking her to step down. Now is the time to hold your representatives accountable when falsehoods are stated. Let them know by attending virtual meetings, writing letters to the editor, emails and so on.

New York City

A bipartisan, community-based political action committee against Congressmember Nicole Malliotakis has quickly gained traction since it went public on Jan. 30. “The overall goal and mission of the organization is to hold her accountable, particularly on votes”. This newly elected Congressional Representative found herself embroiled in controversy after she voted against certifying the electoral votes in Pennsylvania and Arizona because of alleged voter fraud on her third day in office.

Legislators to Contact: Contact and hold your representative accountable on all levels of government if you find them participating in this misinformation campaign.

Public Education


The recent $1.9 trillion pandemic rescue law included $2.75 billion dollars for private schools. Democrats had railed against the push by President Donald J. Trump’s education secretary, Betsy DeVos, to use pandemic relief bills to aid private schools, only to do it themselves.

Legislators to Contact: President Biden, Senator Schumer, in addition to Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers. I will express why I disagree with this.

Single Payer Health Care

New York

Is the pandemic a game changer for a New York single payer bill? The The New York Health Act, a single-payer system, will guarantee that all New Yorkers regardless of income or job status can focus on their health and health care, not medical bills. “This bill must be central to a just and equitable recovery from this pandemic and brought to a vote this year, ” said the codirector for the Campaign For New York Health.

Its passage, despite large Democratic majorities in both chambers of the state legislature, still remains unlikely. Business organizations, which have formed a coalition opposing the bill in recent years, pointed to the tax increases needed to help pay for it. Others, however, feel now is the time for the New York Health Act.

Legislators to Contact: Governor, State Senator and State Assembly Representative and explain why I support the New York Health Act.

Income Inequality


It looks like the federal minimum wage won’t be increased anytime soon — news that will hit women harder than men. Senate Democrats dropped the $15 minimum wage provision from the latest $1.9 trillion stimulus package after the Senate parliamentarian last week decided that the policy couldn’t be passed through budget reconciliation. Then the Democrats abandoned the backup plan to increase the minimum wage through a corporate tax penalty.

There is a disconnect between wealth growth for the ultrawealthy and wealth growth for most Americans. Consequently, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Representatives Pramila Jayapal and Brendan Boyle introduced legislation that would tax the net worth of the wealthiest people in America. It would apply a 2 percent tax to individual net worth — including the value of stocks, houses, boats and anything else a person owns, after subtracting out any debts — above $50 million. It would add an additional 1 percent surcharge for net worth above $1 billion. Polls have consistently shown Ms. Warren’s proposal winning the support of more than three in five Americans, including a majority of Republican voters. Wealth at the top, particularly among billionaires, has grown in the two years.

Legislators to contact: The President, my Senators and My Congressional Representative. I will express support for the $15 minimum wage and an increased tax on the wealthiest of this nation.

LGBT Rights


The House of Representatives passed the Equality Act, a bill that would ban discrimination against people based on sexual orientation and gender identity.The legislation, passed 224 to 206 almost entirely along party lines. It was the second time the Democratic-led House had passed the measure, known as the Equality Act, which seeks to amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to add explicit bans on discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in both public and private spaces.

President Biden said on the campaign trail that this bill would be one of his top legislative priorities for the first 100 days of his presidency. But it’s also controversial — while the Equality Act has broad support among Democrats, many Republicans oppose it, fearing that it would infringe upon religious objections. The bill would need 60 votes to avoid a filibuster in the Senate.

Legislators to contact: My U.S. Senators and explain why I expect their support for this Act.

Nursing Home Reform

The COVID-19 pandemic has swept the nation, killing more than 174,000 residents and staff of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. The roots of the long-term care industry’s problems are deeply tangled,The institutions that serve so many older and infirm Americans were created based on rules and laws passed decades ago, when needs and expectations were different. Nursing home funding and oversight come in large part from government budgets. But most nursing homes are privately owned, meaning there is little transparency into their finances and operations. Are they, as they claim, pinching pennies to survive, or are they profiting at the expense of quality care? AARP has done extensive reporting and analysis of this nationwide problem and has come up with Ten Steps To Reform and Improve Nursing Homes.

Legislators to Contact: The Governor, your State Senator and State Assembly Representative. I will advance the AARP recommendations.


Those of us who have researched the best nursing homes for our loved ones have come to use the rating system run by the U.S. Center For Medicare/Medicaid services. The Covid 19 pandemic, however, has exposed how nursing homes had manipulated the influential star system in ways that masked deep problems. Despite years of warnings, the system provided a badly distorted picture of the quality of care at the nation’s nursing homes. Many relied on sleight-of-hand maneuvers to improve their ratings and hide shortcomings that contributed to the damage when the pandemic struck. The findings of this investigation included the fact that much of the information submitted to C.M.S. is wrong. Almost always, that incorrect information makes the homes seem cleaner and safer than they are. In addition, some nursing homes inflate their staffing levels by, for example, including employees who are on vacation. In one sign of the problems with the self-reported data, nursing homes that earn five stars for their quality of care are nearly as likely to flunk in-person inspections as to ace them. But the government rarely audits the nursing homes’ data. Health inspectors still routinely found problems with abuse and neglect at five-star facilities, yet they rarely deemed the infractions serious enough to merit lower ratings.

Legislators to contact: The President, my Senators and my Congressional Representative Express your concerns regarding the U.S. Center For Medicare Medicaid ineffective and misleading rating system and oversight.

New York

The New York State Senate will be advancing legislation to improve oversight and care at nursing homes. This legislation includes patient care ratio reporting, publication of nursing home ratings (see the above article as to whether this is accurate), a long term care task force, a long term care ombudsman (patient advocate) reform act, and more.

Advocates, like Voices for Seniors, fear these bills won’t fundamentally change life for residents. They fear the proposals don’t go far enough to address the most pressing issues — low staffing levels, state funding, and lax oversight — much less incorporate innovative approaches to redesigning how communities manage end-of-life care.

Legislators to Contact: The Governor, my State Senator and State Assembly Representative. I will support the legislation,l but ask for a more comprehensive bill.

New Jersey

With support from AARP, the state is taking steps to overhaul its long-term care system. In September Governor Murphy signed a bi-partisan legislative package of six bills dealing with the long-term care industry. It included wage enhancements for frontline staff, improved response coordination, data reporting procedures and staffing ratios. The New Jersey Task Force on Long-Term Care Quality and Safety was also created. It is made up of 27 government and public members and will recommend improvements in several areas, including staffing levels and capital investments.

Legislators to Contact: Your State Senator and State Assembly Representative for further improvements as recommended by the Task Force and/or AARP.



At least 250 new laws have been proposed in 43 states to limit mail, early in-person and Election Day voting. It is crucial that you become informed, aware and involved in state and local voting legislation.


The U.S. Senate is getting ready to debate the S1 bill – the furthest-reaching attempt at federal election reform. The HR1 bill, also known as the For the People Act, was passed for the second time in two years this past February. This bill includes reforms such as national automatic voter registration, online registration, 15 consecutive days of early voting, voting sites opened for at least 10 hours, removal of restrictions for vote by mail, the prohibition of voter roll purging and more. It also includes Campaign Finance reform including the public financing of campaigns, and a constitutional amendment to end Citizens United. This ruling allowed unlimited election spending by corporations and labor unions and fueled the rise of Super PACs.

Legislators to contact: Your U.S. Senators Let them know you want their support of the For the People Act and why it is important to you.


The redistricting of state legislative and Congressional districts occurs every ten years following a census. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Census Bureau has said it won’t release detailed population data needed to draw maps until late September — a delay of several months. As a result, legislatures will probably be called into special sessions to draw maps toward the end of the year, and the window for legal challenges will be exceedingly narrow.

Whoever controls the map-drawing wields enormous and long-lasting power over the U.S. political system.The GOP has complete control of the redistricting process in 18 states — including the growing states of Texas and Florida — giving it the power to redraw boundaries for 181 U.S. House seats, according to a report from the Brennan Center for Justice, which advocates for a redistricting overhaul.

Legislators to Contact: Your Governor, State Senator and State Assembly Representative regarding your state’s redistricting plan.

New Jersey

Governor Murphy signed bills into law safeguarding voting rights. One law requires county boards of election to establish ballot drop boxes in each county at least 45 days before election and also revises procedures concerning mail-in ballots for 2020 general election. Another, The Ballot Cure Act, requiring election officials to notify voters within 72 hours of receiving their ballot – or within 48 hours of Election Day – to provide an explanation for the potential rejection and an opportunity to repair the defect. Another extends deadlines and use of voting by mail.

Legislators to Contact: Governor Murphy, your State Senator and State Assembly Representative. Express your support for the new laws.

Redistricting in New Jersey is unlikely in 2021. The state Constitution requires that legislative districts be reconfigured every decade to reflect the population based on census data. A New Jersey constitutional amendment approved by voters in November dictates that if the state does not receive U.S. Census data by Feb. 15, it will delay redistricting. It is unlikely that the New Jersey Apportionment Commission will be creating boundary lines to be used in this year’s state elections.

This does not sit well with Jesse Burns, executive director of the League of Women Voters of New Jersey, which opposed the constitutional amendment. Burns and other good-government advocates note that New Jerseyans have moved around the state over the last decade, and that the state’s Latino and Asian populations have grown by 20%. They suggest the old maps, last redrawn in 2011, need an update sooner rather than later.
“What we have for [the next] two years now is a map that does not reflect ‘one person, one vote,’ where folks are getting their rightful representation in the legislature,”.

The New Jersey Constitution gives each head of the state’s two major political parties the authority to appoint five members to the N.J. Apportionment Commission. The members chosen this year are mostly male, mostly white political insiders. This is despite the fact that New Jersey’s population has diversified: Non-Hispanic whites made up about 55% of residents in 2019, down from more than 59% in 2010, while the proportion of Asians increased from 8% to 10% and Hispanics from roughly 18% to about 21%.

Legislators to Contact: Your Governor, State Senator and State Assembly Representative in supporting the Fair Districts Coalition’s goals in Redistricting Reform. Demand that the N.J. Apportionment Commission represents New Jersey’s diverse population.

New York

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York Democrats once welcomed the creation of a nonpartisan redistricting commission that would redraw congressional maps free of political influence and avoid contorted gerrymandering.But now that the commission is stepping up its work, New York Democrats seem to be having second thoughts. Some Democrats want to make it easier to overrule the commission.

One of the first acts of the Democratic legislature this year was to place on this November’s ballot a measure that would make it easier to override the nonpartisan maps, requiring only simple majority vote.

Advocates of the nonpartisan commission have been alarmed for months as the Cuomo administration failed to release the $1 million the commission was owed. Then, more recently, Democratic and Republican commissioners agreed that the language providing the $1 million was so unacceptable they would refuse to take it.

Legislators to Contact: My Governor, State Senator and State Assembly Representative in support of a properly funded independent nonpartisan redistricting commission.

The American Rescue Plan


This law is much more than a $1400 stimulus check and expanded unemployment insurance. Billions are going to coronavirus testing, vaccinations and the public health workforce. State and local governments, territories and tribes will get extensive support for budget shortfalls, transportation and infrastructure. Included is financing to open schools safely, and child care block grants to prevent hunger and homelessness. Assistance for food, rent, and mortgages is included in addition to business relief and retirement security. Lastly it reduces health care premiums for low and middle income families, and provides COBRA subsidies. Become informed as to how your state and locality will be supported.

It has provided a way to reduce child poverty by half. The centerpiece of the child poverty plan is an expansion of the child tax credit, up to $3,600 a year for young children. This is transformative for many low-income families. One reason to think that this would be so successful is that many other countries have used similar strategies to cut child poverty by large margins. Canada’s parallel approach cut child poverty by 20 to 30 percent, depending on who’s counting, and Britain under Tony Blair cut child poverty in half.

Legislators to contact: Your U.S. Senators and U.S. House Representative. Let them know why you support this law and thank them for their vote. Hold them accountable if they did not support the Plan.

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The NYC races for Mayor, Comptroller, Public Advocate, District Attorney, City Council and Borough President . The New Jersey races for Governor, State Senator and State Assembly

Ongoing and/or new legislation

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2021 The Road Ahead

A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.                 

Mahatma Gandhi

And so we did. And still must do. The road ahead.


The Secret History of The Shadow Campaign that Saved The Election

For more than a year, a loosely organized coalition of operatives scrambled to shore up America’s institutions as they came under simultaneous attack from a remorseless pandemic and an autocratically inclined President. Though much of this activity took place on the left, it was separate from the Biden campaign and crossed ideological lines, with crucial contributions by nonpartisan and conservative actors.

A series of actions had been unfolding behind the scenes, one that curtailed protests and coordinated the resistance from CEOs . Hundreds of major business leaders, many of whom had backed Trumps candidacy and supported his policies, called on him to concede. The handshake between business and labor was just one component of a vast, cross-partisan campaign to protect the election–an extraordinary shadow effort dedicated not to winning the vote but to ensuring it would be free and fair, credible and uncorrupted.

The organizations involved included, but were not limited to The Voter Protection Project with both Republicans and Democrats on its board and Protect Democracy, a bipartisan election-crisis task force. They joined forces with the Fight Back Table, a coalition of “resistance” organizations who then formed the Democracy Defense Coalition. The architect of this shadow organization was Mike Podhorzer, originally the senior advisor to the president of the AFL-CIO. Among Democratic insiders, he’s known as the wizard behind some of the biggest advances in political technology in recent decades.

This alliance also included the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the National Vote at Home Institute, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, The Voter Participation Center, All Voting Is Local, Catalist, The National Council on Election Integrity, Movement For Black Lives, The Voting Rights Lab and IntoAction, We the People Michigan, Detroit Will Breathe, More than 150 liberal groups, from the Women’s March to Indivisible to the Sierra Club to Color of Change, from Democrats.com to the Democratic Socialists of America, joined the “Protect the Results” coalition.

This detailed and complex series of coordinated actions and responses show just how close we came to having this election overturned. “There’s an impulse for some to say voters decided and democracy won. But it’s a mistake to think that this election cycle was a show of strength for democracy. It shows how vulnerable democracy is.”

Democrats Win the Senate
With The Victories by Jon Ossoff and the Rev. Raphael Warnock

Stacey Abrams and Lauren Groh-Wargo created Fair Fight 10 years ago with a mission to organize people, help realize gains in their lives, win local races to build statewide competitiveness and hold power accountable. In addition, they intended to transform Georgia into a battleground state. Years of planning, testing, innovating, sustained investment and organizing yielded record-breaking results. More details in the Respond section.

President Trump Incites an Armed Insurrection Against Congress

Trump refused to concede, and conjured fantasies of widespread fraud with no proof. He began by claiming the “mail in” ballots were fraudulent. He then tried to stop the election he’d lost with lawsuits and conspiracy theories. Lastly he tried to put pressure on state and local officials to change the vote. On January 6 he summoned his army of supporters to the Washington DC on the day the Congress was in the process of counting electoral votes. Trump urged his supporters to ‘fight much harder’ against ‘bad people’ and ‘show strength’ at the Capitol.

Nearly every day since insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol, the list of those charged in the attack has grown longer. As of March 1, 2021, three hundred people have been charged from more than 40 states. The insurrection attempt ended with five people dead, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer.

A majority of House Republicans, as well as six Senators, voted to try to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s win in Arizona

Immediately following the coup attempt, six Republican senators — Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Cindy Hyde-Smith, John Kennedy, Roger Marshall, and Tommy Tuberville — and a stunning 121 House Republicans voted, fruitlessly, to contest the Arizona results. Their attempts failed, 93–6 in the Senate and 303–121 in the House. These 147 Republicans voted to overturn election results. Response to these actions included editorials asking for their resignations, in addition to the withdrawal of political donations from specific American corporations. Ways to respond to this below.

Donald Trump Acquitted In Second Impeachment Trial

The Senate voted 57-43 today to acquit former President Trump of inciting an insurrection at the Capitol on Jan, 6. Trump’s second impeachment trial lasted five days with both House managers and defense lawyers presenting evidence and arguments to support their positions. Republican leaders are sharply divided on Trumps role and influence in the G.O.P going forward.

In Statehouses, Stolen-Election Myth Fuels a G.O.P. Drive to Rewrite Rules

     Led by loyalists who embrace former President Donald J. Trump’s baseless claims of a stolen election, Republicans in state legislatures nationwide are mounting extraordinary efforts to change the rules of voting and representation — and enhance their own political clout. “The typical response by a losing party in a functioning democracy is that they alter their platform to make it more appealing, Here the response is to try to keep people from voting. It’s dangerously antidemocratic.”

As the Georgia House of Representative was passing legislation intent on suppressing the vote last month, Rep. Bee Nguyen explained how their Republicans were using this false narrative: “We are legislating on lies … lies, misinformation and conspiracy theories that have gone unchecked by many members of this body, who stayed silent, who signed on to the Texas lawsuit or who encouraged sham hearings in our General Assembly,” she said. “Members of this body aided and abetted a deliberate misinformation campaign to sow seeds of doubt among Georgia voters with absolutely no facts or evidence.”

Social Media Accountability

The public is passively consuming inaccuracies and falsehoods through various social media platforms. In addition, social media’s algorithms wind up amplifying extremist content. 

Congressman Tom Malinowski (NJ-7) and Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo (CA-18) introduced the Protecting Americans from Dangerous Algorithms Act, legislation to hold large social media platforms accountable for their algorithmic amplification of harmful, radicalizing content that leads to offline violence.

“Social media companies have been playing whack-a-mole trying to take down QAnon conspiracies and other extremist content, but they aren’t changing the design of a social network that is built to amplify extremism,”

The Status of State Governments Today

A trifecta means one party controls the executive branch and both chambers of the legislative branch. A divided government describes a situation in which one party controls the executive branch while another party controls one or both houses of the legislative branch. There are currently 38 trifectas: 15 Democratic and 23 Republican. As a result of the 2020 elections, Republicans increased their trifecta total with a net gain of two trifectas.

23 Republican Trifectas: Alabama, Arizona*, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia*, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire*, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wyoming

15 Democratic Trifectas: California*, Colorado*, Connecticut*, Delaware*, Hawaii*, Illinois*, Maine*, Nevada*, New Jersey*, New Mexico*, New York*, Oregon*, Rhode Island*, Virginia*, Washington*

12 Divided Governments: Alaska, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland*, Massachusetts*, Michigan*, Minnesota*, North Carolina, Pennsylvania*, Vermont*, Wisconsin*

* The states that voted for Biden

As of January 29, 2021, Republicans controlled 54.27% of all state legislative seats nationally, while Democrats held 44.86%. Republicans held a majority in 61 chambers, and Democrats held the majority in 37 chambers. One chamber (Alaska House) remained uncertain

Redistricting and Control of the U.S. Congress

Redistricting occurs every 10 years after the U.S. Census completes its decennial count of the national population. Because the number of U.S. House of Representatives seats allocated to each state is driven largely by population, some states whose population declined will likely lose seats to others that have seen growth. This year, Texas and Florida are among the states expected to gain seats, while New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania are among those that will likely lose seats. Each state uses the census data to draw congressional districts, as well as new state legislative districts

In most states, the legislature produces the maps, with the governor often having veto power. Voters in several states, including Colorado, Michigan, New York and Virginia, approved the creation of redistricting commissions designed to lessen partisanship, though they have varying degrees of autonomy.

After Democrats failed to make major gains in November at the statehouse level, Republicans will have sole power to draw the lines for 181 seats in the 435-seat U.S. House, compared with only 49 for Democrats. Some experts say Republicans could use redistricting alone to flip the half-dozen House seats needed to regain control of the chamber from Democrats in the 2022 congressional elections.

Last week, Census officials said states would not receive detailed figures until September. As a result, the two states that hold legislative elections in 2021, Virginia and New Jersey, will use their old maps. Meanwhile, around half of U.S. states have legal deadlines calling for new maps to be completed in 2021, which could be impossible given the delay; experts say many states will likely ask courts for extensions.

The biggest fights could emerge in four populous Southern states where Republican control over redistricting could yield big gains in Congress – Texas, Florida, Georgia and North Carolina.

The Redistricting Landscape 2021-22

Political changes and reforms

For the next round of redistricting, the good news is that single-party control has decreased due to a combination of reforms and elections that have resulted in divided government. In total, six states have adopted redistricting reforms that will be used in the upcoming redistricting cycle, including Virginia in November 2020. Meanwhile, several other states where maps are still drawn by legislatures and that saw egregious gerrymandering last cycle now have divided governments. Lawmakers in these states must now compromise or forfeit their map drawing authority to the courts — where the likelihood of fair maps is much higher.

Legal changes

The legal landscape, by contrast, is more ominous this time around. Map drawing in 2021–22 will take place with a legal framework weakened by two major Supreme Court rulings. Shelby County v. Holder gutted core protections of the Voting Rights Act. Rucho v. Common Cause closed the door to federal court challenges to partisan gerrymanders. Yet, the last decade saw new jurisprudential fronts open with wins against partisan gerrymandering in two state courts. 

Demographic and population changes 

The South in particular has grown rapidly and become both much more racially and politically diverse since 2011. Similarly, some regions have seen population decreases or significant demographic changes and could also see battles over adjustments to maps. 

The Assault on Voting 2021

Over objections from Democrats last month, Georgia House Republicans passed a sweeping elections bill that would enact more restrictions on absentee voting and cut back on weekend early voting hours favored by larger counties, among other changes. The bill now heads to the Georgia Senate, which is considering its own omnibus measure that would end no-excuse absentee voting, among other changes.

The Supreme Court has decided takes up a court fight Tuesday, March 2, over voting rights in the battleground state of Arizona, and the outcome may affect how the nation’s courts resolve clashes over election laws in dozens of other states.

Two Arizona laws are at issue in the virtual oral arguments before the justices. One requires election officials to reject ballots cast in the wrong precincts. The other concerns voting by mail and provides that only the voter, a family member or a caregiver can collect and deliver a completed ballot.

But Arizona Democrats said the state has a history of switching polling places more often in minority neighborhoods and putting the polls in places intended to cause mistakes. Minorities move more often and are less likely to own homes, resulting in the need to change polling places, Democrats said.

Arizona far outpaces other states in discarding out-of-precinct ballots, rejecting 11 times more than the next-highest state. And minority voters are more likely to need help turning in their ballots, the challengers said. In many states where the practice is legal, community activists offer ballot collection to encourage voting.

Respond Opinions

Just Help People

Biden has an extraordinary opportunity to change the relationship between the people and their government.If he succeeds, he will not only deprive authoritarian populists like Trump of energy, he will give Democrats a chance to win over voters who’ve lost faith in them, and he will give voice to millions more that the American political system has silenced. “The best thing we can do right now to reduce levels of anger and frustration on both sides of the aisle is to give people the things they need to live better lives,” In other words, what Democrats need to do is simple: Just help people, and do it fast.

How to Turn A Red State Blue
The steps toward victory are straightforward: understand your weaknesses, organize with your allies, shore up your political infrastructure and focus on the long game

Stacey Abrams and Lauren Groh-Wargo

Take Action

  • Create a clear message. Too often, Democrats try to ensure that their communications include everyone and everything, turning a legitimate message into an unclear or overstuffed manifesto. Each state Democratic Party should create a narrative about where it is and where it is headed that voters can believe.
  • In contrast, Republicans offer clear messages their voters can adhere to (God, guns and anti-government, to name three).
  • Never forget, however, that creating a political identity for state Democrats is not a national operation. Each state is starting from a different place, and for the message to have meaning and credibility, it must reflect the reality of where you are today.

Organizing is the soul of this work

  • Building progressive governing power requires organizing.
  • At its most basic, organizing is talking to people about important issues, plus moving them to take collective action.
  • First, you need a resonant issue to organize around. Then you need a concrete goal to organize toward. Good community organizers are crucial for connecting needs and dreams to resources and policy changes. While organizations are optimal, individuals can and do work independently to great effect.
  • In our efforts in Georgia, we have always embraced the philosophy that we operate as part of an ecosystem of state and local organizers who focus on a range of sometimes conflicting narratives.A push for environmental legislation to restrict the use of fossil fuels must engage the thousands of union workers employed by industries reliant on those energy sources.
  • Sustained engagement with all of the component parts of a Democratic coalition means that while those you disappoint may be angry with a particular action, they won’t abandon the mission.

Breathe Life Into The State Party

  • If you want to build a battleground state, a strong state party is a necessity. 
  • Cultivating a new political dynamic in state politics often puts you at loggerheads with the political operatives and professional consultants who have dominated Democratic politics. Bringing in new voices and changing the traditional conversation about how to win does more than defy the status quo.

Play The Long Game

  • Make steady gains in local races and state legislative races
  • For 10 years, we carried around charts of Georgia’s demographic and registration projections, as well as one that showed shrinking margins of victory for Republicans in races for the Senate, the governorship and the presidency over time.
  • To win in the 21st century, Democrats must cultivate and hire people of color in the central areas of communications, fund-raising, research, operations and management. Diversity in staffing is more than a nice nod to our multicultural party. Our success is built on diverse coalitions, and Democrats must have culturally competent staff members.
  • Our approach was rooted in the demographic numbers and in the moral clarity provided by an authentic, multiracial, multiethnic, multigenerational and truly statewide coalition. This work takes time and investment, as we have said, in an electoral strategy that makes progress over time.
  • More important, we understood that the transformation of what had become a solidly red state was a continuing campaignand must not be centered on one election or one leader.
  • Recent Democratic wins in Georgia and Arizona reflect growth in support from white voters but also, critically, increased turnout and support from Black, Latino, Asian-American and Native American communities.

Surround yourself with smart people.

Lead strategists are vital to building a battleground state. They see the big picture and get you up to scale. You can’t build a battleground state with just grassroots organizing or relying on a competent state legislative caucus. Each of these pieces has to be driven by someone who sees the full playing field.

The Untapped and Underrepresented 

  • For Georgia and much of the Sun Belt, the primary opportunity is in a growing cohort of people of color who see Democratic policies as their path to prosperity. For other states, a resurgence of labor unions or an increase in youth participation may be the key to adding new voices and voters. 
  • By identifying an untapped or underrepresented voter pool, states can redefine their path to victory. To do so, each state must recognize that losing better is a crucial part of engineering a battleground state. 
  • Over time, with a larger, comprehensive strategy in place, smart investments, sustained effort and a commitment to organizing and civic engagement across communities — and again, a tolerance for setbacks — we can create a new generation of competitive states, from sea to shining sea.

Respond Steps

  1. Become informed and involved with the most recent Federal, State and Local legislation addressing the issues of:

Climate Change

Covid 19 : Testing, Immunization, Economic Recovery

Criminal Justice Reform

Disinformation Campaigns


Economic Recovery & Small Businesses

Food Insecurity and Food Deserts

Gun Control

Health Care

Housing – affordable, zoning laws, redlining, homelessness


Income Inequality – including minimum wage

LGBT Rights

Nursing Home & Long Care Facility Reform

Racial Injustice

Social Media Accountability

Voting – logistics, assaults, early voting, redistricting and gerrymandering

2. Hold these and other officials who support the former president’s baseless claims of widespread fraud accountable. Challenge the misinformation campaigns around you through public meetings, newspapers and debates.

Disinformation Campaigns

Four New York representatives were among the 147 Republicans who voted to overturn the election results, despite the lack of evidence for President Trump’s baseless claims of widespread fraud: Nicole Malliotakis, who represents Staten Island and part of South Brooklyn; Lee Zeldin from Long Island; Elise M. Stefanik, who represents the North Country; and Chris Jacobs from the Buffalo area. (Both of the state’s senators are Democrats who voted to certify the election results.)

Hold officials accountable . Notify all officials who supported the former president’s baseless claims of widespread fraud with some or all of the following points:

  • You voted against certifying the election even though the claims of fraud had been rejected by state officials of both parties, as well as by dozens of judges across the country.
  • It showed that you support  conspiracy theories surrounding the 2020 Presidential Election. In addition, you have now aligned yourself with the extremist groups that support white supremacy and antisemitism.
  • You swore to uphold the Constitution, and then attempted to usurp this Democracy.
  • We need a  (Representative or Senator ) who respects the voting process and the will of all the people you represent.
  • I demand your resignation. 

Get your local, state and federal representatives to go on record stating they supported election results. Interview candidates who are running for public office on all levels and see if they are participating in the disinformation campaign perpetuated by the former president. This will be the new path for the Conservative Republicans around us. They started with stating that the Black Lives Matter movement was an effort to defund the police. They have used this strategy before and will continue to do so.

3. Become informed and participate in state legislative and governor races. I’ve included most of the states below. See how the candidates support the policies that are important to you. Attend virtual meetings. Voice your concerns. Save your state representatives’ phone numbers, addresses, and emails in your contact list for easy access.

The Timetable for State Elections 

Executive Branch Elections

2021–   2 states are electing governors
The 2 Democratic Governors of New Jersey  and Virginia

2022 –  36 states and three territories are electing governors

The 17 Republican Governors of Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Wyoming, Northern Mariana Islands
4 Retiring and term limited Republican Governors of Arizona, Arkansas, Maryland and Nebraska

14 Democratic Governors of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Wisconsin, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands
4 Retiring and term limited Democrat Governors of Hawaii, Oregon, Pennsylvania & Rhode Island 

Legislative Branch Elections

Most state senators are elected to four-year terms and state representatives are elected to two-year terms.

2021 2 states will hold  legislative chamber elections: 
New Jersey State Senate and Assembly Elections
Virginia House of Delegates Elections

2022 –  88 of the country’s 99 state legislative chambers will hold elections.

Both state legislative houses are up for re-election in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska (they only have one chamber), Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Elections for just the State House of Representatives: Kansas, South Carolina

4. Become informed and participate in local political campaigns. See how the candidates support the policies that are important to you. Attend virtual meetings. Voice your concerns. Save your local representatives’ phone numbers, addresses, and emails in your contact list for easy access.

Local Elections 

Council Members 
City Planning Board
Trustee – Village Planning Board 
County Commissioners
City Council Members
Borough Presidents

5. Each state legislature is now engaged in voting legislation. In addition, each state will be using the census data to draw congressional districts, as well as new state legislative districts. Redistricting translates into more seats in Congress, and control of State Houses. Get involved. Attend virtual meetings. Voice your concerns.  

6.  Support your Congressional Representatives. Stay informed on the most recent Federal legislation like the Covid 19 Stimulus Bill, HR1 – For The People Act which will  expand voting rights, change campaign finance laws to reduce the influence of money in politics, limit partisan gerrymandering, and create new ethics rules for federal officeholders, S51 supporting statehood for  Washington DC. More bills will be in upcoming posts. Save your Congressional representatives’ phone numbers, addresses, and emails in your contact list for easy access. 

7. Join a local civic group and/or an online advocacy community. 

Once again I am profiling a local civic association in New York. The Bay Shore Babylon Women’s Huddle has worked on multiple fronts of advocacy. They hold monthly zoom meetings and use their mailing list to post agenda items, meeting minutes and items of interest/action throughout the month. Their members (individually and collectively) have participated in activities  with organizations such as  New Hour For Women & Children,  Parole Justice Campaign Day of Action, Indivisible, New York Civic Engagement Table (NYCET) and Advocacy Institute (AI).   They’ve joined in zoom/phone/texting events in support of federal legislation – S1 (For the People Act),  S51 (Washington DC statehood) and state legislation “Invest in Our New York Act”, and “The New York Health Act”.
     Their current focus is on the federal, state, and local re-districting of Long Island. The Huddle has teamed up and joined with various civic groups across Long Island to expand their outreach. They are currently working with the Sayville Citizens for Political Activation. This group has been organizing and leading the challenge to the recently redistricted maps of the Town of Islip. These maps sliced up formerly contiguous communities. 
Another outreach has been identifying and interviewing new candidates for local positions in government. In addition, they  have created multi-media educational materials on how to identify misinformation and falsehoods that they plan to share with schools, libraries and community centers.


Indivisible continues to be in the forefront of effective and sustained advocacy and involvement in all federal, state and local policies . Find your local group.   Help where you can, when you can. 

Next Multiple Posts: 

Local and Statewide Legislation and Elections with a focus on New York and New Jersey.

Remember to:

Go local.
Help People

“Do your little bit of good where you are;
its those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”

Desmond Tutu

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The 2020 Election and Georgia On My Mind


The 46th President of the United States

The Presidential Election

Joseph R. Biden was elected the 46th President of the United States of America on November 7, 2020. He received the majority of the popular vote: 80,934,359 votes or 51.3%. In addition, Biden received 306 Electoral College votes, exceeding the 270 he needed to clinch the presidency. The 45th received 74,078,200 votes, 46.9%, along with 232 electoral votes.

The 117th Congress

U.S House of Representatives Election Results

Democrats held onto their majority in the House with 222 seats. They were successful in flipping three seats from Republican to Democrat. Republicans narrowed their disadvantage by flipping at least nine seats from Democrat to Republican. The 2021 House will open with 222 Democrats and 209 Republicans.

U.S. Senate Election Results

Democrats flipped two seats, with former Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper unseating incumbent GOP Sen. Cory Gardner in Colorado, and Democrat Mark Kelly, a former astronaut, toppling Republican Sen. Martha McSally in Arizona. Republicans picked up a seat by ousting Democratic Sen. Doug Jones in deep red Alabama, with Tommy Tuberville, the Republican candidate, winning.

Control of the U.S. Senate as a result of the 2020 elections has not been determined. Republicans have secured 50 seats and Democrats have secured 48 seats (including among them two seats held by independents who caucus with Democrats). Both the regular and special elections in Georgia advanced to January 5, 2021, runoffs.

Democrats would need to win both Georgia’s Senate races to split the chamber 50-50, with the vice president (starting in 2021, Democrat Kamala Harris) having the tie-breaking vote. Republicans need to win one seat to maintain their majority.

Getting Out The Vote

The 2020 turnout was the highest in 120 years. Sixty six percent of the voting-eligible population cast a ballot. Turnout was especially high in many battleground states, where expectations of a close contest appeared to boost voter participation. Thank you for all you did to support this effort.

The Georgia Elections

Georgia has not elected a Democratic senator since 1996, but a growing young and non-White electorate has helped shift the state into battleground status. Until the 1970s, Georgia was virtually a one-party state, with conservative Democrats dominant. But as conservative voters moved en masse to the Republican Party, Democrats were left concentrated in places like the city of Atlanta, adjacent and urbane Decatur, and smaller cities with significant African-American populations. A new generation of Democratic candidates has left behind the fiscal and social conservatism of its forefathers to embrace a rising demographic coalition of Black voters, college-educated suburban women and a more politically engaged younger generation.

Republican Sen. David Perdue did not break the 50% threshold needed to win outright in this month’s election and will again face Democrat Jon Ossoff on January 5.

A special race was created to determine who would replace former Republican Senator Johnny Isakson, who retired last year. Under state law, if neither candidate receives above 50% of the vote, the race must advance to a runoff between the top two candidates. Senator Kelly Loeffler, who was appointed by Republican Governor Brian Kemp to replace Isakson, will face Democrat Raphael Warnock in the runoff on January 5.

Georgia’s law says the runoffs are to take place on the Tuesday of the ninth week after the election. That puts them on Jan. 5. Voters must be registered to participate by Dec. 7.The state will hold three weeks of early voting. Registered voters may vote by mail if they request an absentee ballot.

It is traditionally more difficult for candidates to convince voters to turn out for elections that do not feature the presidential contest on the ballot, and this special election will come shortly after New Year’s with the country still in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. In the past, Democrats have struggled in such races, with Republicans dominating the format in conservative-learning Georgia.


Democrats need to capture both of the seats in Georgia to secure a 50-50 tie in the Senate. A great deal is at stake.


Reverand Warnock For U.S. Senate

Jon Osoff for U.S. Senate

Postcards To Voters – write to Georgia voters reminding them to apply for an absentee ballot and vote. Associated with The Georgia Project.

Vote Forward – write letters to Georgia voters and help increase election turnout

The New Georgia Project – support registration and GOTV drives

Fair Fight – a national voting rights organization rooted in Georgia focuses on voter mobilization and founded by Stacey Abrams

Next Post: The Inauguration, The Senate and The Future

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Joe Biden For President of The United States of America

“..we should also expect a president to be the custodian of this democracy. We should expect that regardless of ego, ambition, or political beliefs, the president will preserve, protect, and defend the freedoms and ideals that so many Americans marched for and went to jail for; fought for and died for.

That empathy, that decency, the belief that everybody counts — that’s who Joe is.

..Kamala Harris, he’s chosen an ideal partner who’s more than prepared for the job; someone who knows what it’s like to overcome barriers and who’s made a career fighting to help others live out their own American dream.

Along with the experience needed to get things done, Joe and Kamala have concrete policies that will turn their vision of a better, fairer, stronger country into reality.”

Barack Obama, Former President of the United States
2020 Democratic National Convention Speech



We aren’t just going to rebuild what has worked in the past. This is our opportunity to build back better than ever.

Plan/agenda either To or For:






















22. GUARANTEE GOVERNMENT WORKS FOR THE PEOPLE ( Campaign Finance and Government Reform)










32. EDUCATORS, STUDENTS, AND OUR FUTURE (The Biden Plan for K-12 Education)



















Four Newspapers Review The Plans


A. Joe Biden’s  Extensive Policy Agenda explained. 

Minimum Wage
Free College For Most 
Enhancing The Affordable Care Act 
Dramatic transformation of federal housing policy
A huge financial boost to schools with low-income students
A labor-friendly climate agenda
Major commitments on union organizing
Back to the future on immigration

B. Joe Biden’s Foreign Policy Explained 

Global health: Climate change and coronavirus
Alliances: “Build from the free world out”
Countering China requires “a democratic alliance to save the world”
Nuclear proliferation: Russian, North Korean, and Iranian efforts “a major problem”
North Korea
America’s wars: “It’s past time to end the forever wars”

C. Joe Biden’s Vision For America 

His economic recovery plan would pay health insurance costs for newly unemployed people, offer middle-class parents and caretakers $8,000 a year for child or long-term care support, spend $700 billion on manufacturing and R&D to expand jobs in those sectors, and make it easier to organize unions.

His climate plan features $2 trillion in investments in clean energy and a clean electricity standard mandating that electricity production in the US not produce any carbon by the year 2035.

Biden’s four-point plan to “Build Back Better”
Plank 1: Clean energy
Plank 2: Caregiving
Plank 3: “Made in All of America”
Plank 4: Addressing the racial wealth gap

D. Joe Biden’s plan to beat the coronavirus

Step 1: Fix America’s test-trace-isolate problem
Step 2: Provide people, businesses, and states with more economic relief
Step 3: Fast and equitable use of an effective Covid-19 vaccine

The New York Times

E. Biden’s Covid Response Plan Draws From F.D.R.’s New Deal

Many of his ideas carry echoes of Roosevelt’s New Deal vision of the robust role the U.S. government should play in helping the nation recover from a crisis.

He would quickly appoint a national “supply chain commander” to coordinate the logistics of manufacturing and distributing protective gear and test kits, invoking the Defense Production Act more aggressively than Mr. Trump has to build up supplies.

Mr. Biden wants to mobilize at least 100,000 Americans for a “public health jobs corps” of contact tracers to help track and curb outbreaks. And he has even called for a “Pandemic Testing Board” to swell the supply of coronavirus tests — a play on Roosevelt’s War Production Board.

F. Running the Numbers on Biden’s Tax Policy

Moody’s has predicted that if Mr. Biden wins and Democrats control both the House and Senate, G.D.P. would be 4.5 percent larger at the end of 2024 than under current policies, with gains from stimulus spending outweighing drag from tax increases.

A group of economists including Kevin Hassett, a former chairman of Mr. Trump’s Council of Economic Advisers, estimated that the long-run impact of Mr. Biden’s plans would cut G.D.P. per capita by 8 percent over the next decade.

The right-leaning American Enterprise Institute suggested the tax plan would shrink the economy by only 0.16 percent over the next 10 years, because it would largely tax the savings of high earners who are not big drivers of growth. Still, the proposals would discourage investment and hiring, it said.


G. What a Joe Biden presidency would mean for five key science issues

Pandemic response
Climate change
Research priorities
Space exploration
International research collaborations

Huffington Post

H.  Biden Rolls Out Ambitious New Climate Plan, But Stops Short Of Phasing Out Fossil Fuels

I.   Joe Biden Makes Caregiving A Central Part Of His New Economic Plan

J. Biden Releases Racial Equity Plan, Omits Reparations


  1. Donate/support/volunteer for the Biden Harris Campaign.
  2. Review my post on The War on Voting to see where to donate/volunteer in Getting Out The Vote in the next two weeks.
  3. Continue to donate/support/volunteer for these Crucial U.S. Senate Seats
  4. Your donations and support matter when Keeping Your Eyes on The House.

Next Post after the Election:

An updated George Floyd: The Turning Point.

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Keeping Your Eyes on The House

“If liberty and equality, as is thought by some, are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in the government to the utmost”

The U.S. House of Representatives

As per the Constitution, the U.S. House of Representatives makes and passes federal laws. The House is one of Congress’s two chambers (the other is the U.S. Senate), and part of the federal government’s legislative branch. The number of voting representatives in the House is fixed by law at no more than 435, proportionally representing the population of the 50 states.

Following the 2018 general elections, the Democratic Party gained a majority in the U.S. House. The Democratic Party, at the time, needed to pick up 23 seats in November 2018 to win the chamber. They gained a net total of 40 seats.

Republicans have been plotting to wrest back some of those seats, especially among the 30 Trump districts that Democrats now hold. The Republicans would need more than 30 seats to take back the majority.

The House of Representatives presently has 232 Democrats, 198 Republicans, 1 Libertarian, and 4 vacancies. Nobody knows how an election largely cast by mail could shape voting patterns.

All 435 House of Representatives seats are up for election on November 3, 2020. One party would have to have 218 seats for the majority.

I’ve placed the most important races in four of the six categories used by The Cook Political Report: Toss Up Democrat, Toss Up Republican, Lean Democrat , Lean Republican.

Toss Up means these are the most competitive races, and either party has a good chance of winning. Lean means that these are considered competitive races, but one party has an advantage.

I did not include Cook’s Likely category. You can check The Cook Political Report to see what races these are. There are 17 Likely Democrat and 17 Likely Republican seats that are not considered competitive at this point, but have the potential to become engaged.

I did not include Cook’s Solid category. There are 190 Solid Democrat and 154 Solid Republican seats at this time. Again, you can check The Cook Political Report to see what races these are.

Nate Silver’s site Five Thirty Eight updates poll status throughout the day for each Congressional Race (adjust poll type), in addition to the Presidential Race itself. Should you wish, you can check this site to see how the House races are polling in the crucial campaigns below.

Please note that Five Thirty Eight uses a variety of pollsters. Its pollster “ratings” are calculated by analyzing the historical accuracy and the methodology of each firm’s polls. You’ll see this rating in a blue circle to the left. Many pollsters are banned due to poor accuracy and methodology. 

Donate, volunteer and support the following crucial campaigns. Inform friends and family across the nation so they can do the same. Spread the word. In addition, volunteer and support your own House Democrat Representative in every way you can.

It’s expected that the outcome of the presidential contest will most likely be decided in eight swing states; Arizona, Florida, Georgia,  Michigan,  Minnesota, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Consequently, the Congressional races in these states more important than ever.

I’ve added a plus sign (+) to denote the Democrat who is running in a swing state.

An asterisk (*) reflects Washington Post’s The House Seats Most Likely To Flip in November

Democratic Toss Up – These 11 Democrats can lose to a Republican

Support California 21st District Democrat U.S. Rep. T.J. Cox in a fight to flip his district by Republican House Candidate Valadao.

+Support Florida 26 District Democrat U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell in a fight to flip her district by Republican House Candidate Gimenez.

*Support Iowa 1st District Democrat U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer in a fight to flip her district by Republican House Candidate Hinson.

Support Iowa 2nd District Democrat Candidate Rita Hart as she’s trying to defeat Republican House Candidate Miller-Meaks.

+Support Minnesota 7th District Democrat U.S. Rep Collin Peterson in a fight to flip his district by Republican House Candidate Fischbach and Legal Marijuana Now Party Candidate Johnson.

*Support New Mexico 2nd House District Democrat U.S. Rep. Xochitl Torres Small in a fight to flip her district by Republican Candidate Herrell.

Support New York 11th District Democrat U.S. Max Rose in a fight to flip his district by Republican Candidate Malliotakis.

*Support New York 22nd District Democrat U.S. Rep. Anthony Brindisi in a fight to flip his district by Republican Candidate Tenny.

*Support Oklahoma 5th House District Democrat U.S. Rep Kendra Horn in a fight to flip her district by Republican Candidate Bice.

Support Utah 4th District Democrat U.S. Rep Ben McAdams in a fight to flip his district by Republican Candidate Owens, United Utah Candidate Broderick, and Liberal Party Candidate Molnar.

Support Virginia 2nd District Democrat U.S. Rep Elaine Luria in a fight to flip her district by Republican Candidate Taylor.

Republican Toss Up – These 14 Democrats can defeat these Republicans.

+Support Arizona 6th District Democrat House Candidate Hiral Tipirneni as she’s fighting to defeat Republican U.S. Rep Schweikert and Independent Party Candidate Lewellen.

Support California 25 District Democrat House Candidate Christy Smith as she’s fighting to defeat Republican U.S. Rep Garcia.

Support Indiana 5th District Democrat House Candidate Christina Hale as she’s fighting to defeat Republican Candidate Spartz, Liberal Party Candidate Tucker and Independent Party Candidate Kizik.

Support Missouri 2nd District Democrat House Candidate Jill Schupp as she’s fighting to defeat Republican U.S. Rep Wagner, Liberal Party Candidate Schulte, and Independent Party Candidate Bufe.

Support Nebraska District 2 Democrat House Candidate Kara Eastman as she’s fighting to defeat Republican U.S. Rep Bacon and Liberal Party Candidate Schaeffer.

Support New Jersey District 2 Democrat House Candidate Amy Kennedy as she’s fighting to defeat Republican U.S. Rep Van Drew.

Support New York District 2 Democrat House Candidate Jackie Gordon as she’s fighting to defeat Republican Candidate Garbarino, Green Party Candidate Burger, and Independent Party Candidates Ross and MacRuari. – (A MUST PICK by my family)

Support New York District 24 Democrat House Candidate Dana Balter as she’s fighting to defeat Republican U.S. Rep Katko.

Support Ohio District 1 Democrat House Candidate Kate Schroder as she’s fighting to defeat Republican U.S. Rep Chabot.

+Support Pennsylvania District 10 Democrat House Candidate Eugene DePasquale as he’s fighting to defeat Republican U.S. Rep Perry.

Support Texas District 21 Democrat House Candidate Wendy Davis as she’s fighting to defeat Republican U.S. Rep Roy, Liberal Party Candidate DiBianca, and Green Party Candidate Wakely.

Support Texas 22th District Democrat House Candidate Sri Preston Kulkarni as he’s fighting to defeat Republican Candidate Nehls.

*Support Texas 24th District Democrat House Candidate Candace Valenzuela as she’s fighting to defeat Republican Candidate Van Duyne.

Support Virginia 5th District Democrat House Candidate Dr. Cameron Webb as he’s fighting to defeat Republican U.S. Rep Perry.

Lean DemocraticCompetitive but 18 Democrats have a slight advantage.

+Support Arizona 1st District Democrat U.S. Rep. O’Halleran

Support California 48th District Democrat U.S. Rep Rouda

+Support Georgia 6th District U.S. Rep McBath

+*Support Georgia 7th District Democrat House Candidate Carolyn Bourdeaux

Support Iowa 3rd District Democrat U.S. Rep.Cindy Axne

+Support Michigan 8th District U.S. Rep Slotkin

+Support Michigan 11th District U.S. Rep Stevens

+Support Minnesota’s 2nd District U.S. Rep Craig

Support Nevada’s 3rd District U.S. Rep Lee

Support New Jersey 3rd House District Democrat U.S. Rep Andy Kim

Support New Jersey’s 7th District U.S. Rep Malinowski – (a superb Congressman)

Support Oregon 4th District U.S. Rep DeFazio

+Support Pennsylvania’s 8th District U.S. Rep Cartwright

+Support Pennsylvania’s 17th District U.S. Rep Lamb

*Support South Carolina 1st District U.S. Rep Cunningham

*Support Texas 23rd District Democrat House candidate Gina Ortiz  

Support Virginia 7th District Democrat U.S. Rep Abigail Spanberger

+Support Wisconsin 3rd District U.S. Rep Kind

Lean RepublicanCompetitive for these 15 Democrats, but the Republicans have a slight advantage.

Support Alaska Independent House Candidate Alyse Galvin

Support Arkansas 2nd District Democrat House Candidate Joyce Elliott

Support Colorado 3rd District Democrat House Candidate Diane Mitsch Bush

+Support Florida 15th District Democrat House Candidate Alan Cohn

*Support Illinois 13th District Democrat House Candidate Betsy Dirksen Londrigan

+Support Michigan 3rd District Democrat House Candidate Hilary Scholten

+Support Michigan 6th District Democrat House Candidate John Hoadley

+Support Minnesota 1st District Democrat Candidate Dan Freehan

Support Montana At Large Democrat Candidate Kathleen Williams

Support New York 1st District Democrat House Candidate Nancy Goroff

Support North Carolina District 8 Democrat House Candidate Patricia Timmons-Goodson

Support North Carolina 11th District Democrat House Candidate Moe Davis

+Support Pennsylvania 1st District Democrat House Candidate Christina Finello

Support Texas 3rd District Democrat House Candidate Lulu Seikaly

Support Texas’ 10th District Democrat House Candidate Mike Siegel

Next Post: The Joe Biden/Kamala Harris Policies

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Crucial U.S. Senate Seats

Republicans now hold a majority of Senate seats while only representing a minority of Americans. The parties have reorganized themselves along urban-rural lines, and there is now a clear and pronounced partisan small-state bias in the Senate thanks to mostly rural, less populated states voting increasingly Republican. In fact, it’s reached the point that Republicans can win a majority of Senate seats while only representing a minority of Americans.

Can the Democrats win back the majority in the Senate? Democrats’ likeliest path is to pick up at least four Senate seats and win the White House to get the majority, but they’ll have to win in some conservative-leaning states to do it. Volunteer and support your own Democrat Senator in every way you can.

Here are the top 14 Senate races most likely to flip parties in November. There are 12 chances for Democrats to flip Senate seats and just two for Republicans on this list. So many of the races are close and could go either way — while others are more of a stretch for Democrats. I’ve placed them in four categories: More likely to flip than not, toss-ups, could flip under the right conditions, and lastly, could flip, maybe. The list was sorted according to both The Washington Post and the Cook Political Report. Nate Silver’s site Five Thirty Eight updates poll status throughout the day for each Congressional Race, in addition to the Presidential race itself. Should you wish, you can check this site to see how the specific Senate race is going in the crucial campaigns below.

Please note that Five Thirty Eight uses a variety of pollsters. FiveThirtyEight’s pollster ratings are calculated by analyzing the historical accuracy and the methodology of each firm’s polls. You’ll see this rating in a blue circle to the left. Other pollsters are banned due to poor accuracy and methodology.

Volunteer, support and donate toward the following crucial campaigns.

It’s expected that the outcome of the presidential contest will most likely be decided in eight swing states; Arizona, Florida, Georgia,  Michigan,  Minnesota, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and  Wisconsin. Consequently, the Senate races in these states more important than ever.

Most likely

Support Alabama Senator Doug Jones in a losing fight to flip his district by Republican Candidate Tuberville.

Arizona Senate Democrat Candidate Mark Kelly needs your support as he’s likely to flip the seat of Republican Senator McSally.

Colorado Senate Democrat Candidate John Hickenlooper needs your support as he’s likely to flip the seat of Republican Senator Gardner.

Toss Up

Georgia Senate Democrat Candidate Jon Ossoff needs your support as he is fighting to flip the seat of Republican Senator Perdue.

Georgia Senate Democrat Candidate Raphael Warnock needs your support as he is fighting to flip the seat of Republican Senator Loeffler.

Iowa Senate Democrat Candidate Theresa Greenfield needs your support as she is fighting to flip the seat of Republican Senator Ernst.

Maine Senate Democrat Candidate Sara Gideon needs your support as she is fighting to flip the seat of Republican Senator Collins.

North Carolina Senate Democrat Candidate Cal Cunningham needs your support as he has a good chance to flip the seat of Republican Senator Thom Tillis.

Montana Senate Democrat Candidate Steve Bullock needs your support as he is fighting to flip the seat of Republican Steve Daines.

South Carolina Senate Democrat Candidate Jaime Harrison needs your support as he is fighting to flip the seat of Republican Senator Graham.

Could Flip Under The Right Conditions

Alaska Senate Independent Candidate Al Gross needs your support as he is struggling to flip the seat of Republican Senator Sullivan.

Kansas Senate Democrat Candidate Barbara Bollier needs your support as she is struggling to flip the seat of Senate Republican Candidate Roger Marshall.

Texas Senate Democrat Candidate MJ Heger needs your support as she is struggling to flip the seat of Republican Senator Cornyn.

Could Flip Maybe

Kentucky Senate Democrat Candidate Amy McGrath needs your support as she is losing the fight to flip the seat of Republican Senator McConnell.

Michigan Democrat, Senator Gary Peters still needs your support, though he is likely to keep his seat against opponent Senate Republican Candidate James.

The Presidential Election

I, personally, don’t put much weight on polls, as the 2016 Presidential Election can attest. But, for those of you who might want to keep your finger on the election forecast pulse, 538 updates the Election Forecast on a regular basis.

The most important action you can take is to volunteer/donate in every way you can on every front for the Joe Biden/Kamala Harris Campaign.

Next Post: Crucial U.S. House Seats

Will post the most competitive and crucial House seats in the next post. In the meanwhile, volunteer and support your own House Democrat Representative in every way you can.

Will follow that post with an update on Biden’s new policies.

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The War on Voting in America

“The vote is the most powerful nonviolent tool we have.” 
Former U.S. Congressman John Lewis

The right to vote is the bedrock of this Democracy. The goal of restrictive voting laws is to prevent marginalized communities from voting. Many fail to remember that this is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. 

U.S. election laws date back to Article 1 of the Constitution. This gave states the responsibility of overseeing federal elections. Many Constitutional amendments and federal laws to protect voting rights have been passed since then. Each state has a chief election official and creates its own election laws and procedures. Election Day, the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, is set by an 1845 law, and both houses of Congress would have to agree to change it.

This war is decades long and has its roots in institutionalized racism, and a planned systematized strategy to silence Democrats.  The pandemic has further darkened the skies as there were no provisions or accommodations in state law for its existence, in addition to no additional funds. The infrastructure of mail in voting is complex and challenging. This is compounded by Republicans and Conservatives in state governments intent on blocking the vote, and now having a multitude of ways to do so. 


The War on Voting


Updated September 21: It’s expected that the outcome of the presidential contest will most likely be decided in eight swing states; Arizona, Florida, Georgia,  Michigan,  Minnesota, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and  Wisconsin. So it’s no surprise the Republicans have focused their arsenal on these states, in addition to a continued assault on marginalized communities around America.

Absentee/Mail-In-Ballot Challenges & Rejections

Brad Raffensperger, a Georgia Republican Secretary of State,  has raised the specter of fraud by announcing an “Absentee-Ballot Fraud Task Force” for 2020 that prosecutors will help lead. The task force, nine of whose 12 members are Republican, would investigate, among other things, “every signature mismatch” on a mail-in ballot. Raffensperger’s intention is clear: Intimidate and deter voters.

The challenges have not changed since the 2018 election.  In the coming months, in the swing states and elsewhere, partisan fights could break out over whether to allow voters to request an absentee ballot online instead of by mail (many states currently don’t allow this), or waive the requirement that voters obtain witness signatures before returning their ballots (as North Carolina and Wisconsin, among others, mandate) because some voters are self-isolating during the pandemic.

Many states lack uniform criteria or training for matching the signature on a ballot with the copy of the voter’s signature that the state has on file. As a result, rejection rates can vary a great deal from county to county.

States including Pennsylvania and Michigan don’t require election officials to notify voters if their signatures are missing or have been rejected, so those voters don’t have a chance to fix the problem. The gaps in the law leave the decision up to county and local officials.

 Divided Legislatures

The April 7 Wisconsin Primary included the presidential primary, thousands of local offices and four judgeships, including a key seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.  Voting advocate groups including BLOC (Black Leaders Organizing for Community) asked Wisconsin’s Democratic governor, Tony Evers to postpone the election until it was safer to vote. The Wisconsin Assembly and Senate are firmly in the hands of Republicans. They refused to allow mailed in ballots to be sent to each registered voter.

Wisconsin shows how politically divisive basic access to voting could be in November. Three other swing states — Michi­gan, Pennsylvania and North Carolina — have the same kind of divided government, with Democratic governors and Republican-led legislatures wrestling for control, the dynamic that caused so much trouble in April.

Early Voting Blockade

In the past the great majority of minority voters, in Ohio and other places that means African American voters, cast a large percentage of their votes during the early voting process”
Former U.S. Congressman John Lewis

Decades after the Voting Rights Act of 1965, black legislators and their allies increased access to voting by opening polling sites in the weeks before Election Day. In 2010, after taking control of most state legislatures, Republicans eliminated early voting and same-day registration where they could.

Contested Election Results

“This is a year when accusations of a stolen or broken election have more potential than they’ve had for decades to rip the country apart. It’s hard to overstate the importance of seeing the election done right. “It’s this simple: A disputed election in this environment poses an existential threat to American democracy.”

As the two parties clash over how to conduct an election in a pandemic, President Trump’s litigiousness and unfounded claims of fraud have increased the likelihood of epic post-election court fights.

The battle is playing out on two tracks: defining the rules about how the voting will take place, and preparing for fights over how the votes should be counted and contesting the outcome.

Nine Falsehoods that could Undermine the 2020 Election  

CLAIM #1: There is widespread voting by ineligible individuals
TRUTH: This type of fraud is extremely rare.
CONSEQUENCE: More restrictive voting laws and lower levels of trust in elections. 

CLAIM #2: The president can delay Election Day because of the coronavirus pandemic.
TRUTH The president has no authority to change the date of Election Day. CONSEQUENCE:  A delay in the election could trigger a constitutional crisis and jeopardize the peaceful transition of power in the United States 

CLAIM #3 Non citizens are voting in droves 
TRUTH: Noncitizen voting is exceedingly rare
CONSEQUENCE : More restrictive voting laws and lower levels of trust in elections.

CLAIM #4: The Machines Malfunctioned — They Were Clearly Rigged 
TRUTH:  Malfunctions may be the result of wear and tear rather than hacking or manipulation. For example, vote flipping can be caused by the glue between the touch screen and the machine wearing down.
CONSEQUENCEInaccurate claims of hacking or vote-rigging could lead to extreme partisan conflict over election results in 2020.

CLAIM #5: A failure to announce results on election night is an indication of malfeasance in the election process.
TRUTH: In a close election, getting the right result can take time.
CONSEQUENCE:Rushing out election results can lead to inaccurate election night calls of outcomes, resulting in increased partisan conflict over election outcomes and decreased trust in democratic processes.

CLAIM #6: Election outcomes that differ from election night projections are suspect.
TRUTH: Ballots continue to be counted after election night and, in a close election, those ballots can change the outcome.
CONSEQUENCE: Increased partisan conflict over election outcomes and decreased trust in election outcomes.

CLAIM #7: Recounts, audits, and election contests are illegitimate attempts to undo a valid election result.
TRUTH: Recounts, audits, and election contests are all normal parts of the elections process that help to ensure that every valid ballot is counted accurately. CONSEQUENCE: Increased partisan conflict over and decreased trust in election outcomes.

CLAIM #8: Groups that help many voters cast their absentee ballots are engaged in illegal “ballot harvesting,” and laws that allow such assistance enable election fraud.
TRUTH: Partisans use the pejorative “ballot harvesting” to criticize two very different sets of practices: (a) illegal and illegitimate absentee ballot tampering and (b) legal and legitimate assistance to voters casting their absentee ballots. Voter assistance is not evidence of fraud.
CONSEQUENCE: Lower levels of trust in elections and more restrictive voting laws.

CLAIM #9: Aggressive voter purges are needed because voter rolls are infected with large numbers of ineligible voters.
TRUTH: Claims that voter rolls are “dirty” are overblown.
CONSEQUENCE:  Purge numbers are growing. Improper purges can disenfranchise eligible voters, cause undue delays at the polls, and heighten distrust in our election systems.

Election Security Hacking and Interference 

Disinformation about the coronavirus is spreading like wildfire.  Russia has already begun to use the crisis to peddle false conspiracy theories and further divide Americans. It interfered in our 2016 presidential election; we must make sure that foreign actors and adversaries cannot use this moment of crisis to undermine our elections.

New evidence shows how Russia’s Election Interference has gotten more brazen. The Kremlin-linked operation behind 2016 election meddling is using similar tactics for 2020, plus some new ones.

The Fraud Distraction 

In the 2000s, Republicans began passing strict voter-identification laws, which could be justified as a way to prevent fraud — though in-person voting fraud is extremely rare.

Trump has shifted to the preferred Republican justification for making it harder to vote — preventing fraud. With the threat of the pandemic rising, he called voting by mail “corrupt,” imagining “thousands of votes are gathered, and they come in, and they’re dumped in a location, and then, all of a sudden, you lose elections you think you’re going to win.”

He used a recent case to assail mail-in voting as dangerous, though election experts disagree. Officials in New Jersey argue that what happened in Paterson was being oversimplified and that the majority of ballots were rejected because they had been filled out incorrectly and not because they had been submitted illegally.

“The claim of fraud is a distraction,” Jena Griswold, the Secretary of State in Colorado where 95 percent of people voted by mail in 2018, We have a history of clean elections. When we think there is the possibility of double voting, we send every case to the attorney general.Our number for 2018 was 0.0027 percent.”

“All Americans deserve an election system that is secure and President Trump is highlighting that Democrats’ plan for universal mail-in voting would lead to fraud,” said White House spokeswoman Sarah Matthews. LINK POLITICO trump aides exploring

Suppressing Turnout by Black and Latino Voters 

“In 1965, the attempted march from Selma to Montgomery on March 7 was planned to dramatize to the state of Alabama and to the nation that people of color
wanted to register to vote.
  Former U.S. Congressman John Lewis

Republicans usually don’t talk openly about suppressing turnout Trump broke that rule, saying at a news briefing that he thought his party would lose if more people voted. The Democrats’ proposals, he said, “had things — levels of voting that, if you ever agreed to it, you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.” *

Conservatives have long focused on increased turnout as a threat and have worked to minimize it. In the 2000s, Republicans began passing strict voter-identification laws

Since the Supreme Court effectively gutted a key provision of the Voting Rights Act in 2013, more than 1,600 polling places have been closed across the country.

Trump benefited from decreased turnout in 2016, especially in the vital swing states of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan, where participation by black and Democratic voters declined from the historic levels that lifted Barack Obama. Wisconsin’s voter-ID law accounted for some of the decline in turnout in Milwaukee, according to Neil Albrecht, the city election director.

Republicans target voter registration drives with new state laws. Bills  in Florida, Texas, Arizona , Tennessee  and other red states are requiring “training” before you can conduct a registration drive. Most believe this is a veiled attempt to suppress black voters after organized efforts in the 2018 midterm election cycle to boost voter turnout among African Americans and people of color. 


Underfunding the Elections

Significantly changing how elections are carried out will cost money, and all states face a giant funding gap as they scramble to prepare for the unknowns of November. The Brennan Center for Justice estimates the pandemic-associated costs of properly running the 2020 elections (including the primaries as well as the general) at $4 billion. So far, Congress has promised $400 million, with Democrats pushing for more and Republicans blocking their bills.

The U.S. Postal Service Onslaught  

Reforms will put additional stress on the already teetering United States Postal Service (USPS), which is on track to run out of money within weeks. 

Yet, August 7, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy unveiled a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s mail service. Analysts say the structure centralizes power around DeJoy, a former logistics executive and major ally of President Trump, and de-emphasizes decades of institutional postal knowledge.

Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.), chair of the House subcommittee responsible for postal oversight, called the reorganization “a deliberate sabotage” to the nation’s mail service and a “Trojan Horse.”

Some suggested Trump could try to stop local officials from counting remote ballots after Election Day and direct the Postal Service to not deliver certain ballots to voters using an emergency declaration, according to one of the people. The president can’t directly order the postmaster general to do anything, noting the Postal Service chief actually reports to a board of governors. But others argued the postmaster general, a Trump ally and Republican fundraiser, might still be influenced by Trump’s statements. 

On Friday, August 13 it was reported that the Postal service to remove hundreds of sorting machines. Postal workers in various locations said machines have been dismantled.

Trump says Postal Service needs money for mail-in voting, but he’ll keep blocking funding. He says the U.S. Postal Service is incapable of facilitating mail-in voting because it cannot access the emergency funding he is blocking, and made clear that requests for additional aid were nonstarters in coronavirus relief negotiations.

Recent mail delays are fueling concern that Trump is undercutting the postal system ahead of voting.

The Voter Registration Purge

Republican officials have also increasingly pursued a practice that will matter in November no matter how voters cast their ballots, because it affects eligibility to vote by mail as well as in person — mass cuts to the voter-registration rolls. “Purges in and of themselves aren’t bad,” Kevin Morris and Myrna Pérez of the Brennan Center wrote in a 2018 analysis. “They’re commonly used to clean up voter lists when someone has moved, passed away and more. But too often, names identified for removal are determined by faulty criteria that wrongly suggests a voter be deleted from the rolls.” Purging often disproportionally shaves away black and Latino voters.

Between 2016 and 2018, former Georgia Secretary of State Kemp purged more than 700,000 registered voters, more than 10 percent of the state total. Most people Kemp cut hadn’t responded to a notice sent by the state after they didn’t vote in the last few elections. An investigation by APM Reports from Ameri­can Public Media estimated that at least 107,000 of them remained eligible to vote. Like many states, Georgia does not permit same-day registration, so people who show up to vote and find they can’t are not simply allowed back on the rolls.

If the 2020 election is close, purges in swing states could shape the results. According to the Brennan Center, in the two years leading up to the 2018 election, North Carolina, which has a Republican Legislature and at the time had a Republican governor, purged 11.7 percent of its voters; and Florida, also a Republican-controlled state, purged more than 7 percent, compared with 0.2 percent from 2008 to 2010.

Voting Litigation and Legislation Assaulting Voting in America

In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a portion of the Voting Rights Act, a Civil Rights-era law designed to prevent voter suppression in nine states and parts of seven other states.

Republicans are fighting in 17 states, including battleground ones. They have gone to court 40 times as part of a $20 million effort to challenge voting rules. 

Republicans have already won some battles. A Democratic super-PAC and other left-leaning groups agreed to drop a lawsuit over voting rules in Florida after a judge refused to order changes immediately, including a request that the government cover postage costs for mail-in ballots.Another lawsuit seeking to extend the state’s absentee ballot deadline was dismissed in Pennsylvania.

In March 2020, the Republican Party in New Mexico sued to prevent 27 county clerks from shifting to vote-by-mail for the June primary. In April, three voters affiliated with the conservative group True the Vote filed a lawsuit to stop Nevada from conducting an all-mail primary election planned by the secretary of state.(A federal court rejected the suit at the end of the month, calling its claim of voter fraud “without any factual basis.”) In Texas, Attorney General Ken Paxton interpreted the state law that requires an excuse like illness for absentee voting to mean that a voter must actually be sick rather than simply be concerned about becoming infected.

Wisconsin Governor Edgers tried to postpone the primary date in light of the pandemic.  The Wisconsin Supreme Court blocked himThe conservative majority said that the governor’s authority by law to issue orders “he or she deems necessary for the security of persons and property” didn’t mean he could override other valid laws, including those governing elections.That meant voters had to choose between braving their polling places or sitting out the election.

On July 3 The Supreme Court  handed down awful news for voting rights. The practical impact of both orders is that voters in Alabama and Texas will find it harder to cast a ballot during the pandemic:

       Alabama law allows anyone to cast an absentee ballot during the pandemic, but it also imposes certain restrictions on those voters.Among other things, absentee voters must provide a copy of their photo ID, and their ballot must be signed by either two witnesses or one notary public. The Supreme Court granted a temporary stay of a lower court decision that blocked this from happening. 

       Texas law permits voters over the age of 65 to request absentee ballots without difficulty. But most voters under the age of 65 are not allowed to vote absentee. A trial judge’s order would have allowed younger Texans to vote absentee. Last month, the conservative United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit blocked that judge’s order.The plaintiffs asked the Supreme Court  to hear their case on an expedited basis in time for November. The Supreme Court denied that request. The younger voters will likely have to risk infection at an in-person polling site if they wish to cast a ballot.

A conservative group, Judicial Watch, has sued in North Carolina and Pennsylvania over the accuracy of voting rolls in an attempt to purge 800,000 voters in Pa.

In Iowa, Republicans sued to prevent third parties from filling out personal information on absentee ballot requests. In Minnesota, they tried to prevent ballots from being sent to inactive voters. And in Nevada, the Trump campaign on Tuesday, August 4,2020,  filed a lawsuit against the state over a plan to send ballots to active registered voters this November

What is Trump now exploring?  An option for Trump would be sending federal officials into states under the guise of ensuring “every vote is counted,” citing the 15th Amendment or the Voting Rights Act.

The Tennessee Supreme Court vacated a ruling that would have allowed all registered voters in the state to vote absentee in 2020

The War on Voting’s


On The State & Local Levels 

Too many people struggled, suffered, and died to make it possible
for every American to exercise their right to vote
Former U.S. Congressman John Lewis

Casting a Ballot By Mail and In-Person

A Reuters poll in April found that 72 percent of Americans want the government to require mail-in ballots in November to protect voters if the coronavirus continues to pose a threat, including 65 percent support among Republicans. Researchers have found that vote-by-mail hasn’t obviously helped one party or the other.

A long history of voter discrimination across the country, has contributed to a mistrust of voting by mail and a preference for casting in-person ballots  While mail-in voting has expanded overall turnout, it doesn’t necessarily expand turnout among voters in minority groups such as African Americans and Native Americans, many of whom prefer in-person voting.

Absentee/Mail In Ballots 

“It’s not as easy as people think. The boring stuff matters — the scut work of supply chain and logistics and management is crucial.”
Nathaniel Persily, Healthy Elections Project

More Americans than ever before are expected to vote by mail this year because of concerns about the coronavirus. One challenge facing election officials now: how to print and mail the millions of ballots voters are expected to request in the coming months.

Ballot printers must increase capacity to prepare for mail voting surge. With many states expected to expand mail-in voting for November, experts warn that existing ballot printing services could quickly become overwhelmed.One of of the biggest such vendors in the country is Runbeck Election Services. Getting ballots to the right voters is a complicated, multi-step process. States need to decide what their ballots will look like and to get approval from the U.S. Postal Service for the design of the envelopes.

States must purchase high-speed scanners to count votes.  Companies warned that they were already at capacity for November, filling orders from longtime vote-by-mail states like California and Colorado. They could expand, but they would need to buy costly equipment that takes several months to obtain, For example, the machine that folds and inserts the ballot into the envelope can cost up to $1 million. It normally takes 90 days to order one piece of gear. Then you have to get it installed and check everything, because the security and quality control has to be very, very high.

Early Voting   

If 60 percent of eligible voters make it to the polls, it would be the highest turnout for a presidential election in a half century. One way to improve those numbers would be to expand early voting.

Eliminating early voting has been found to decrease turnout in communities of color. Even one extra day of early voting would lead to a meaningful boost in turnout, especially for women and parents with young families.

Essential Election Workers, Clerks and Commissioners

State officials can advise on preparing for the pandemic, but it’s the local clerks and commissioners who have to make the logistics work. They are responsible, foremost, for following guidance from the CDC on operations, procedures, and facility preparation for the poll locations during this pandemic. 

Clerks and commissioners must focus on voter education like How To Request an Absentee Ballot and How To Vote By Mail. Multi-lingual instructions will be crucial. Additional needed information involves Early Voting and Election Day Voting locations and hours.  

They must assess and confirm that all poll locations will be staffed . Training must be provided for new election workers replacing vulnerable retirees. 

The election workers at polls must be protected. They should be given face coverings and gloves, sanitation materials, and have safe social distancing guidelines between them and the public.

These officials must have preparations in place for anticipated long lines.  

Fraud Prevention 

One big question for 2020 is how states will verify absentee ballots to guard against fraud while also ensuring that voters are treated fairly. You have to be open and transparent about how you’re verifying, or people will think you’re just throwing out Democratic or Republican votes to win.

States that have adopted universal vote-by-mail have shown it can be done securely. Election officials can create a clear, un-hackable paper trail for ballots, sending them to voters with a bar code that can be tracked. Voters must sign the ballots, which means signatures can be checked, and send them back in a certified inner envelope, also signed and also with a bar code. Another suggestion is for counties to use databases that chart the evolution of voters’ signatures over time rather than relying on a registration file that may be decades old.

In-Person Voting

 It is so important for polling places open for people who don’t have stable mailing addresses — a group that increases as people are uprooted during an economic downturn — or whose disabilities, like blindness, make it hard to fill out a ballot unassisted.

The states must have a minimum number of polling locations within a community based on the size of the population, located in areas that can serve all populations in the municipality.

State and county election commissioners must follow guidance from the CDC on operations, procedures, and facility preparation . This includes equipping polling locations with sufficient supplies of soap and hand sanitizer, incorporating social distancing strategies like increasing the space between voting booths,  and posting signs to encourage voters to stay at least 6 feet apart.

The states are responsible for adequately staffing each site. In addition, they must keep poll workers safe. Recommendations include encouraging workers to stay home if they’re sick or experiencing symptoms that can be indicative of COVID-19.

The election officials must develop multi-lingual educational materials sharing location, hours and safety precautions at Early Voting and Election day sites. 

They are responsible for purchasing on-site machines like i pads/tablets for check-in, identification card scanners, and ballot scanners. Sites must also have machines like Image Cast and Automark for voters with disabilities. Directions and support must also be provided on site.

Increasing Turnout By Black, Latino and Native American Voters  

In the decades after the Voting Rights Act of 1965 stamped out forms of overt suppression, newly elected black legislators and their allies increased registration with state laws that let people register at the Department of Motor Vehicles and public-assistance offices, or register at the polls on the same day they voted.

Before she ran for governor of Georgia,  Stacey Abrams worked for years to register hundreds of thousands of new voters, many of them African-American and Latino, hoping to make Georgia (where people of color make up 40 percent of the population) more competitive for Democrats.

Last year, Ohio took the unusual step of releasing to advocacy groups in advance a list of 235,000 voters it planned to purge. A watchdog group called the Ohio Voter Project discovered that about 40,000 voters were being cut in error, about half of them from a heavily Democratic county with one of the highest percentages of people of color in the state.

For Native Americans, voting rights were hard-won. Mail-in voting could undo the gains. The problems related to mail-in voting are myriad for Native communities, advocates say. A lack of reliable mail access and a proliferation of nontraditional addresses on reservations, including those in North and South Dakota as well as the southwestern Navajo Nation, make home delivery impossible for many. For those with cars, simply visiting a post office to pick up and drop off a ballot can mean driving many miles on unpaved roads. 

Tribal satellite voting offices on the reservations were the result of a 2012 lawsuit brought by three Native tribes to expand voting access on the reservations.  Montana closed most of these sites when it switched to an optional mail-in voting system for the June 2 Primary.  The Covid-related closures were a setback that required some voters to travel nearly 80 miles into town to collect and drop off their ballots, then 80 miles back. These satellite locations must be open for the November 2020 Elections.

5 Ways to Increase Voter Turnout in African American Communities

  • Eliminate strict voter ID laws – these requirements serve to unfairly target low-income people, people of color, and elderly people by making it more burdensome to vote. Its example requiring photo ID that was  disproportionately held by whites and excluded those disproportionately held by African-Americans. 
  • Prevent unnecessary poll closures.  Fewer polling places can present a significant barrier to voting, especially for individuals who lack convenient access to transportation and/or have child care and work responsibilities.
  • Prohibit harmful voter purges – this voter suppression tactic is typically employed due to over reliance on inaccurate data and largely unsubstantiated suspicion that a resident recently voted in another state or did not participate in recent elections
  • Prioritize African American voters in political outreach
  • Recruit African American candidates for political office

5 Ways to Increase Voter Turnout in Latinx American Communities

  • Eliminate voting purging policies
  • Prohibit strict Voting ID requirements Experts found that eligible Latinos are “242 percent more likely to lack an accepted voter ID than are non-Hispanic whites.” 
  • Reform voter registration procedures.  Same-day registration and automatic voter registration (AVR) are also promising pro-voter policies. 57% of eligible Latinx Americans are registered to vote, compared with 74 % of white Americans. But data show that when Latinx Americans are registered to vote, as many as 83 percent turn out on Election Day
  • Address language barriers to voting, –  provide bilingual voting information on their websites
  • Prioritize Latinx American outreach in political campaigns – devote significant resources toward Spanish-language advertisements, polling, and canvassing in Latinx American communities.

5 Ways to Increase Voter Turnout in American Indian
and Alaska Native Communities

  • Expand voter registration opportunities – The Native American Voting Rights Coalition, led by the Native American Rights Fund, recently found that nearly 1 in 3 American Indians are not registered to vote.
  • Remove language barriers to voting There are 567 federally recognized Indian Tribes, many of which have distinct languages and cultural backgrounds. In fact, more than 1 in 4 AI/AN people—27 percent—speak a language other than English at home. Yet translated ballots and readings of voting instructions in Native languages were unavailable during the early voting period of 2016. This presented significant barriers for Native peoples, especially elders, who often have low literacy and education rates and were unable to cast their ballots during early voting in 2016.
  • Eliminate strict voter ID laws They aim to suppress the voting power of marginalized communities, including American Indian communities. North Dakota, for example, enacted strict voter ID requirements that effectively disenfranchised almost 1 in 5 otherwise eligible American Indians.
  • Expand the use of satellite polling stations, as described above. 
  • Reform mandatory vote-by-mail policies – Vote-by-mail policies are not a perfect solution to the problem of low voter turnout. Indeed, for eligible voters who do not have convenient access to the postal service, these policies can actually make it more difficult to vote.

5 Ways to Increase Voter Turnout in Asian Communities

  • Collect robust disaggregated data on Asian Americans – Asian Americans have roots in more than 20 different countries and dozens of different cultural backgrounds. No one common language exists to unite the group, and there are significant socio-economic differences between ethnicities. Without robust data, policymakers struggle to fully understand and address the unique needs of the communities they serve.
  • Eliminate language barriers to voting Nearly 1 in 3 Asian Americans are limited English proficient (LEP), meaning that they speak English less than “very well.” English proficiency differs significantly by ethnicity. in some ethnic communities, as many as 60 percent of voters prefer language assistance when voting. 
  • Prioritize Asian American outreach in political campaigns  Most political campaigns fail to engage the Asian American community properly. In one survey, only 33 percent of Asian Americans reported being contacted by a partisan or nonpartisan organization regarding the 2016 election.
  • End discriminatory voter purging policies Some states actively remove individuals from voter rolls due to clerical errors, reliance on inaccurate data, or if they suspect the individual voted in another state or has not voted recently. Known as “voter purging,” this blunt voter suppression tactic has disenfranchised thousands of Asian American people.
  • Remove barriers to voter registration  Once registered, the turnout disparity between Asian Americans and whites declines significantly. Yet only 56 percent of Asian Americans are registered to vote, compared with 72 percent of whites. Laws around the country have maintained this disparity by making it more difficult for Asian Americans to register to vote.

Third Party Assistance 

Sometimes a voter may be unable to return the ballot in person or get it to a postal facility in time for it to be counted. In these cases, the voter may entrust the voted ballot to someone else—an agent or designee—to return the ballot.

Among the 26 states where a voter can designate someone to return their ballot, 12 have placed limits on the number of ballots any one agent can collect and return. Returning ballots for others is known as ballot collection or, pejoratively, “ballot harvesting.” The limits are based on the concern that saving people the task of returning their ballot can bleed into encouraging them to vote a certain way.

Voter Registration

The pandemic has put a crimp on voter registration, potentially altering the electorate.   Almost every place where Americans usually register to vote has been out of reach since March and it’s led to a big drop in new registrations right before a presidential election that was expected to see record turnout. 

Voting Advocacy groups are not able to walk the neighborhood streets, set up tables at community centers and places where it’s easy to reach people in the community. Voters who rely more heavily on registration drives and other in-person means of registration, such as college students and people of color, are likely to be especially hard-hit.

At the federal level, the CARES Act provided $400 million in “Election Security Grants” to states, administered by the Election Assistance Commission.  Though the legislation contained nothing specific on registration, the language is broad enough to allow some of those funds to be spent on registration. Some states, particularly those that rely most heavily on in-person means of registration and updating, should spend some of their available CARES Act funds on registration efforts.

Under a pandemic, states must ensure that all Americans can register to vote safely and easily. They must expand online and same day registration.

Another idea is to count the votes of moved or removed voters. Before every election, voters move without updating their registration information, or at least without election authorities having received this information. We can expect more of these voters in 2020, due to the unavailability of in-person means through which to update registrations.

The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA)  provides a partial answer to the problem of voters who have moved without updating their registration information. It enables people who have moved within the same “registrar’s jurisdiction” (in most states, the county) to cast a vote that should be counted, a practice known as “failsafe voting.” Voters who have moved within the same polling place area may update their information and vote by going to that polling place.

Some of those voters may wind up casting provisional ballots, as they are entitled to do under Help America Vote Act  if they affirm in writing that they’re registered and eligible to vote in the jurisdiction.

Organizers have still continued to do the work around engaging folks by reaching people online, mostly over social media and video chats. They doubt, however, if they’ll be able to register as many new voters this year as they did in 2016.

In the end, the private sector must step up.  Online retailer should step up to the plate, by directing voters to registration resources when consumers buy their products. As opportunities for face-to-face contact have declined, e-commerce revenues have risen substantially.

Those who are benefitting financially due to the pandemic have a responsibility to give back, by helping people register to vote or update their registrations. For customers in states with online registration, this can easily be done by directing them to the state registration portal after their purchases.

People in the handful of states without online registration can be sent to the National Mail Voter Registration Form, available on the EAC’s website. Available in fifteen different languages, this uniform form may be used by eligible citizens in every state and territory, following state-specific instructions.

Past and Pending State Litigation & Legislation
 In Support of Voting 

Stacey Abrams founded a voting rights group, Fair Fight Action, which sued Georgia later that November for suppressing the vote in several ways. One of them involved absentee ballots. Election officials had rejected thousands of them, often for errors like writing the date of the election in the field for a birth date. Daniel Smith, an expert for Fair Fight Action, found a higher rate of rejection for voters of color, who tended to support Abrams, than for white voters.

Arizona and Montana have enacted laws to sharply restrict third-party assistance to absentee voters in recent years. In January 2020, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Arizona’s restriction, holding that it had a discriminatory effect on American Indian, Hispanic, and African American voters in violation of the Voting Rights Act and that it was passed for a discriminatory purpose, in violation of the Fifteenth Amendment. (This decision has been stayed pending Supreme Court review.)

Democrats and outside groups on both sides of the issue have similarly taken to the courts over voting rules — more than 160 lawsuits have been filed nationwide, according to election experts.

Pennsylvania sued over rejection of mail-in ballots due to problems with signaturesThe Campaign Legal Center sued Pennsylvania , August 7, on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania, League of United Latin American Citizens Council, Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh and two individual clients. The federal lawsuit contends Pennsylvania is improperly rejecting mail-in ballots over issues with voters’ signatures without giving voters a chance to resolve those problems.  

Native Americans sued Montana in 2012. Northern Cheyenne, Crow, Gros Ventre and Assiniboine tribal members say that without satellite early-voting offices on their reservations, they must drive long distances to early-vote or late-register in their county seat. This is a burden for destitute tribal members who may not have vehicles or gas money for the trip, and the unequal access is illegal and unconstitutional, they say. The satellite offices were the result of a 2012 lawsuit . In the last few election cycles, advocates say the offices helped increase Native American turnout across the state. 

The start of 2020 state legislative sessions has been marked by a flurry of activity around pro-voter reforms, particularly in states with Democratic control over both chambers of the legislature and the governor’s office.

The War on Voting’s


On The Federal Level

Congress must act to protect our upcoming elections, keep voters and poll workers safe, and safeguard our electoral institutions for the long haul. It must provide the necessary funding and resources states desperately need to administer the vote, guard against foreign threats, and protect voters, election workers, and the public during the pandemic.
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren 

Past and Pending Congressional Legislation

Congress passed the Help America Vote Act

Emergency funds were made available to states to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus for the 2020 federal election cycle. This supplemental appropriation funding distributed by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) will provide states with additional resources to protect the 2020 elections from the effects of the novel coronavirus.  

The Native American Voting Rights Act of 2018 pending

     This Act will re-institute what was known as  “pre-clearance”.  The pre- clearance provision, in effect from the 1960s until the Supreme Court struck it down in 2013, had required certain states with histories of discrimination to get permission from the federal government before making changes to their voting or elections laws. Since 2013, these states can pass virtually any such laws without oversight. States would now have to get clearance before passing laws which could adversely affect tribal members or reservation residents.

     It requires tribal identification cards to be used as a valid form of voter ID, in states where voter identification is currently required. Depending on the state, acceptable forms of identification can include a birth certificate, driver’s license, or a hunting license — but often not a tribal ID.

     This bill ensures that early voting, voting by mail, and other similar forms are available for every tribal voting precinct.

The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2020 pending

     This Act will require that any state with a history of voting discrimination within the past 25 years seek federal approval before making any changes to its voting procedures

      It would also mandate that any state, regardless of its history, obtain clearance from the Justice Department or a federal court in Washington, DC, before making any changes that would tend to burden voters of color, such as strict voter ID laws or closing polling places in areas with large numbers of minority voters.

The Natural Disaster and Emergency Ballot Act of 2020 pending

   This bill will give every eligible American the opportunity to vote by mail. It includes important protections to ensure these ballots are submitted, counted, and tracked.

The U.S. Postal Service

The debate over funding the Postal Service, which warns it could run out of operating funds at the end of September, is similarly split. The agency is burdened by hundreds of billions of dollars in debt and falling revenue

It’s unknown whether the United States Postal Service can handle a surge of mail-in ballots in a timely fashion.Some have predicted the crush of remote voting could mean a final winner in the presidential race between Trump and Democrat Joe Biden won’t be known for days or even weeks.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will be calling the House back into session to vote on the USPS bill. With heightened scrutiny of its operations, the Postal Service is now requesting a temporary pre-election rate increase, from mid-October through Christmas, although not for first-class letters. It said Sunday it would stop removing its distinctive blue mailboxes through mid-November following complaints from customers and members of the Congress.


The Five Step Response to the War on Voting in America

What You Can Do  


STEP 1 : Identify the Problems during the Primaries

Identify the problems your state faced running Primary elections during this pandemic. Contact your election officials and demand answers and support for these , along with other voting concerns and challenges in Steps 2-4.  

I’ve included the names and links to your State and County Election Commissioners, in addition to your State and Federal legislators, in the WHOM TO CONTACT section at the end of this post.  

New York City

Why the Botched N.Y.C. Primary Has Become the November Nightmare

New York State

The Chaos in New York Is a Warning 

Cuomo Signs Law Sweeping Election Reforms

New Jersey

After Delay, There’s Now a List of Winners or Losers in NJ Primary Elections…. More than a month later, state certifies election results   


Pa. legislature’s delays could result in chaos for election officials and voters in November


How California is preparing for in-person voting this year due to coronavirus 

California tosses 100,000 botched mailed-in ballots for presidential primary 


The Massachusetts Republican and Democratic Party statewide primary is scheduled to take place on September 1, 2020. Research how they went.  

Mass. 2020 Primary: What To Know About Voting By Mail Or At The Polls 

A new law allows Mass. residents to vote by mail. Here’s how that’s already changing things


Kansas sees 240,000 mail-in ballot requests, more than ever before

What to expect at the polls Tuesday as Kansas, Missouri prepare for a pandemic election


STEP 2: Contact your State and County Election Commissioners

First confirm what your state and county is doing to safeguard every American’s right to vote. Then email/phone/write/ demand what is missing. Address the problems the primaries faced.

Your State and County Election Officials must:

Absentee/Mail In Ballots

  • create an online ballot application system 
  • mail a ballot to all registered voters; automatically,  before each election
  • set up a system to receive and process an enormous volume of applications and subsequent mailed in ballots.
  • purchase high-speed scanners to count votes
  • establish secure drop-off boxes
  • allow ballots to be dropped off at polling locations on the day of the election
  • develop educational materials in multiple languages 
  • provide access to ballots in multiple languages

Early Voting

  • expand Early Voting

Essential Election Workers, Clerks and Commissioners

  • share their CDC protocol for on site polling locations
  • provide and share clear multi-lingual information about both Absentee/Mail In Ballots and In Person voting
  • share staffing numbers per site
  • share what the contingency plans are if election workers don’t show up 
  • keep poll workers safe. This includes plexiglass shields, face masks for workers, hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies and disposable stylus pens.

Fraud Prevention

  • share how they will verify absentee ballots to guard against fraud

In-Person Voting

  • extend poll hours due to expected crowds
  • share number of poll locations in marginalized communities, confirm their hours and nearby  public transportation
  • confirm that all sites have:
    1. tablets  for check-in, identification card scanners, ballot scanners, and enough outlets
    2. proper lighting for both inside and outside 
    3. parking 
    4. machines, information and support available for people with disabilities
  • share contingency plans should either of the digital tools or machines fail
  • share contingency plans if election workers don’t show up
  • explain how they will assess and manage waiting lines following social distancing criteria  both inside and out, and prepare for bad weather 

Increasing Turnout By Black, Latino, Native American and Asian Voters

  • prohibit harmful voter purges
  • eliminate strict voter ID laws
  • reform and expand voter registration procedures and opportunities
  • address and remove language barriers to voting
  • prevent unnecessary poll closures
  • expand the use of satellite polling stations
  • reform mandatory vote-by-mail policies as they don’t work for everyone

Third Party Assistance

  • allow third party assistance 

Voter Registration

  • make it simple and safe for people to register to vote
  • accelerate opportunities for online registration
  • offer same day voter registration at the polling location 
  • provide automatic voter registration – at state sites like Motor Vehicles
  • count the votes of moved or removed voters
  • reform and expand voter registration procedures and opportunities

STEP 3: Contact your State Senator and Assembly/Representative

Your State Senators and Assembly/Representatives must:

  • support election reform legislation being considered for your own state. Find out what that is by selecting your own state  
  • focus on the reforms we’re asking Congress below. Does your state have these in place?
  • help to solve the problems identified during your state’s primaries
  • support election reform as communicated to your state and county election commissioners regarding:

Absentee/Mail in Ballots
Early Voting 
Essential Election Workers, Clerks and Commissioners
Fraud Protection
In-Person Voting
Increasing Turnout by Black, Latino, Native American, and Asian voters
Third Party Assistance
Voter Registration

  • support your State’s Attorney General’s legal action if/when they find actions were taken that impede the states’ ability to run free and fair elections. 

STEP 4: Contact your U.S. Senator and U.S. House of Representatives Member

Share your conviction that the Congress must :

Absentee/Mail In Ballots 

  • require all states to mail every registered voter a ballot with pre-paid postage and a self-sealing envelope
  • waive requirements that absentee voters submit copies of their IDs or include a notary or witness signature with their mail-in ballot
  • require that states put in place robust ballot tracking tools to ensure voters can follow their ballot at every step
  • create protections to ensure that individuals who vote by mail don’t have their ballots discounted or thrown out without justification

The Disabled 

  • require that every polling place be equipped with voting machines that are accessible for people with disabilities

Election Communication

  • require states to provide repeated, advance notice of any changes to elections, including polling place closures or relocations, in multiple languages and formats, including mail, email, text, call, and social and traditional media outlets.

Early Voting

  • require that states  provide at least 30 days of early voting  to accommodate voters while implementing social distancing and heightened sanitation guidelines during the pandemic

Election Security

  • protect the integrity of our elections during this time of crisis by countering disinformation and bolstering election security
  • guarantee that foreign actors and adversaries cannot use this moment of crisis to undermine our elections
  • ensure that social media platforms redouble their efforts to identify, prevent, and remove disinformation from their platforms, and alert users affected by disinformation campaigns

Funding the Election

In-Person Voting & Poll Workers

  • require states to retain in-person voting on Election Day
  • allow eligible individuals to vote with a sworn statement of identity instead of a voter ID
  • permit registered voters to vote at any polling place within their district
  • extend polling place hours to help prevent overcrowding and promote social distancing
  • ensure that every polling place is equipped with voting machines that are accessible for people with disabilities
  • help states prepare to assist voters who need to vote in person. Many voters — including marginalized communities, rural communities, reservations, and people with disabilities — may face greater obstacles to participating in elections from home. They lack access to mail service or reliable broadband, or require language or other assistance to complete their ballot
  • require states to extend polling place hours to help prevent overcrowding,  and promote social distancing
  • guarantee that every poll worker receives hazard pay

Post Election Audits

  • ensure that states institute post-election audits

The U.S. Postal Service

  • shore up USPS so that as many Americans as possible can vote from home. 
  • include $25 billion for USPS in the next coronavirus recovery bill to help the USPS

Voting Legislation  

  • support the Natural Disaster and Emergency Ballot Act of 2020
  • support the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act 2020 
  • support the The Native American Voting Rights Act of 2018

Voter Registration 

  • ban states from purging their voter rolls unless an individual affirmatively requests to be removed or there is objective documentary evidence, such as an official record of death or affirmative change of address.
  • ban states from using returned mail or a registered voter’s failure to participate in the election as an excuse to purge voters from the rolls
  • require that states restore to the rolls any voter whose name was removed since the current state of emergency was declared
  • ensure that all Americans can register to vote safely and easily
  • require all states to offer online registration as thirty-nine states and the District of Columbia already do

Step 5: Get Out The Vote

The vote is precious. It’s almost sacred, 
so go out and vote like you never voted before.”
Former U.S. Congressman John Lewis

First review this extremely comprehensive guide to making sure your ballot gets counted, no matter where in America you live. Then:

Join a local civic group 
Here is a profile on how effective they can be: 

A Model on How a Civic Organization
Can Affect Change 

The Bayshore Babylon Women’s Huddle  

My sister is part of the leadership team of this grass roots non partisan organization. It models how a small civic association created a ripple effect on local voting practices in Suffolk County, New York. 

A Focus On Voting

The steps the Bayshore Babylon Women’s Huddle took included:

  • voter registration drive at all outreach events
  • coordinating with other Suffolk County advocacy groups
  • using statistics to determine that the number, placement and times of the early voting sites in Suffolk County failed to serve densely populated marginalized communities
  • holding a joint press conference to share results 
  • inviting the NY Democratic Law Council to provide poll watching training to members 
  • working as poll watchers for the November 2019 Early Voting Week and Election Day 
  • consolidating polling site experiences and making recommendations  
  • a presentation to, and correspondence with, the Suffolk County Legislature
  • communicating with both the New York State Assemblyman Chuck Lavine , Chair of Election Law and the Democratic Commissioner of the Suffolk County Board of Elections

In the end, New York State Assemblyman Chuck Lavine reached out to the Suffolk Board of Elections. The results of these multiple efforts were:

  1. The addition of 3 new locations for early voting in densely populated marginalized communities
  2. The chosen sites were near public transportation
  3. All voters of Suffolk County will now be allowed to vote early at any election site located in the county, regardless of their own election district.  

The organization did not end there. They continue with:

  • sharing detailed information on the absentee ballot application process by developing flyers,   You Tube videos, Facebook posts  and using other social media sites
  • posting Early Voting and Election Day site times and locations
  • keeping their fingers on the pulse of election practice in Suffolk County in preparation for the November election
  • creating a flyer on How To Stay Safe and Still Vote In The General Election.  It includes Early Voting In-Person sites and times for Nassau and Suffolk Counties, Absentee Ballot application directions and deadlines, and Election Day hours and locations. 

A Focus On The Census
(cut off a month early by U.S. Census Bureau
Deadline now 9/30/20)

The steps the Bayshore Babylon Women’s Huddle took included:

  • receiving Census training by the Long Island Civic Engagement Table
  • hosting a Census training lead by a government Census coordinator
  • analyzing data to focus on communities with low Census response 
  • creating bi-lingual flyers explaining the importance of the Census in words and graphics
  • coordinating with other advocacy groups including The Sisters of St. Joseph in Brentwood, NY which paid for reproduction of flyers, buttons and stickers.  
  • financing and decorating a Census float with balloons, flags  and bi-lingual banners for the Brentwood, N.Y. Puerto Rican Hispanic Parade
  • volunteering in the Parade alongside the float with Census flyer distribution and  advertisement
  • sponsoring a Census information table at various outreach events sponsored by the Long Island Civic Engagement Table,  and the Sisters of St Joseph  
  • sponsoring a Census information table at the Concert for Immigrant Justice, sponsored by the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES),  and the Long Island Jobs with Justice 
  • supporting bi-lingual Census flyer distribution through donated backpacks and Island Harvest Food Bank grocery bags

Get Out The Vote
Additional Steps  

  1. Volunteer with the grassroots organization known as Indivisible. It offers:
  1. Help to register family, friend’s and community members. Find your state’s Registration Regulations and Deadlines
  1. Need to confirm you are registered? Inform family, friends and community members that if they have not voted in a while,  they need to check if their names were purged from voter rolls. The National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) will confirm you are registered.
  1. Share with family, friends and community members the state sites for Automatic Voter Registration
  2. Help family, friends and community members with Online Voter registration.
  3. Send friends, family and community members in states without Online Voter Registration to the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission’s site for the National Mail Voter Registration Form
  4. Share your state’s Early Voting Calendar .
  1. Attend virtual town hall meetings for your local, state and federal representatives, and voice your concerns and demands. The dates and times are usually posted on their websites.
  2. For my American friends and family living abroad. Democrats Abroad has coordinated specific actions and responses regarding voting and other crucial reform initiatives.

10. Volunteer With /Donate To:

Vote Forward – GOTV letter writing campaign to swing states

Fair Fight – Stacey Abrams national voting rights organization

Rock The Vote – building the political power of young people

When We All Vote  – Michelle Obama 

Native American Voting Rights Coalition

Movement Voter Project – supporting Black led organizations

Voto Latino  

Asian Americans Advancing Justice

The Voter Participation Center – young people, people of color and women

Postcards To Swing States

League of Women Voters

Vote Riders

Vote Save America –  adopt a state 

Progressive Turnout Project – focus on battleground states

Let New York Vote 

Brooklyn Voters Alliance – pop up registration sites + 

Brennan Center For Justice

Campaign Legal Center

Common Cause  

Open Progress Turnout Troop – texting to GOTV

Vote.org – provides up to date Covid 19 election rule changes per state.

11. Support grassroots Voting Advocacy Groups in the Swing States of: 

Arizona – Arizona Advocacy Network

Florida  – Florida Movement Voter Project

Georgia – Fair Fight Action

Michigan – Voters Not Politicians

North Carolina – Democracy North Carolina

Pennsylvania – Pennsylvania Stands Up

Wisconsin – Big Five Battleground Fund

12. Share How To Make Sure Your Vote Counts in November. which includes the steps of 1. Make sure you are registered to vote
2. In most states, Register to receive a ballot by mail
3. Look up when your state mails out ballots- and request one ASAP
4. Fill out your ballot, and make sure to follow the instructions exactly
5. Return your ballot ASAP by mail or a drop box
6. Early Voting is an option
7. You can, of course, vote in person
8. Manage your expectations for when we’ll get results

13. Create flyers with information specific to your state with clear directions on how to register, complete an absentee/mail in ballot application and the ballot itself. Steps should include where to place your signature, or if/what ID information is required. Contact local churches, community organizations and stores to see if they will allow a site for flyer pick up. Multiple community organizations, food banks, and political campaigns are now sponsoring drive-thru events. Contact them to see if your flyers can be included in any material distribution.


Who is responsible for Voting in America
at the State & Local Levels?

No state administers elections are exactly the same way as another state, and there is quite a bit of variation in election administration even within states. Each state’s election administration structure and procedures grew organically, as times changed and administering an election became an increasingly complex task. When election duties are divided between one or more offices on the local level, the most common division is between voter registration and the actual administration of elections.

The National Conference of State Legislators provides the Election Administration at the State Level for all 50 States. My focus will be on New York City, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California and Massachusetts

New York

New York have a board or a commission that oversees elections. Appointments to these commissions are usually made by the governor, and confirmed by the Senate. They are most often structured so as to be bipartisan, with a certain number of members from each of the major political parties.

Contact your

New York State Election Commissioners Peter Kosinski, Douglas Kellner, and Andrew Spano   

New York County Election Commissioner

New York State Senator

New York State Assembly Member

New York City

New York CityThe Board of Elections in the City of New York (NYCBOE) conducts New York elections within New York City. It is an administrative body of ten Commissioners, two from each borough upon recommendation by both political parties and then appointed by the New York City Council for a term of four years.

Contact your:

NYC Election Commissioners  

New Jersey

New Jersey has a chief election official appointed by the governor. The chief election official is called the secretary of state.

Contact your:

New Jersey Secretary of State Honorable Tahesha Way

New Jersey County Election Commissioner

New Jersey State Senator and Assembly Member 


Pennsylvania has a chief election official appointed by the governor. The chief election official is called the secretary of state.

Contact your:

Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar

Pennsylvania County Election Director, Supervisor and/or Clerk  

Pennsylvania State Senator and House of Representatives Member


California has an elected secretary of state as the chief election official.

Contact your:

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla 

California County Clerk, Recorder and Registrar of Voters

California  State Senator and Assembly Member 


Massachusetts has an elected secretary of state as the chief election official.

Contact your:

Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts William Galvin  

Massachusetts City and Town Election Official/Clerk 

Massachusetts State Senator and House of Representative Member


Kansas  has an elected secretary of state as the chief election official.

Contact your:

Kansas Secretary of State Scott Schwab

Kansas County Election Officer

Kansas State Senator and House of Representatives Member

Who is responsible for Voting in America
at the Federal Level?

Your U.S. House of Representatives Member 

Your U.S. Senator 

Next Post –

Crucial U.S. Senate Seat Races 

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