Pay Attention To The Back Of The Ballot

Column from Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,C,I,Ref-Canandaigua)
November 3, 2017

On Tuesday, New Yorkers will head to the polls with the opportunity to decide who will represent them in a number of important elections. But on November 7, choosing between candidates for public office is only part of the power of our electorate.

On the back of your ballots will be three propositions for voters to consider. These propositions allow the public to directly impact policy and are, in a way, the most direct democratic participation we are afforded. This Election Day, please remember to turn the ballot over and be heard on three important issues facing our great state.

PROPOSITIONS DESERVE CAREFUL CONSIDERATION

It’s important that prior to Election Day, voters educate themselves on the details of each ballot proposal and the significance they carry for New Yorkers. Each proposal is unique and will greatly impact New York and its residents. Ballotpedia has helpful information regarding the three propositions.

  • Proposal 1: Constitutional Convention – Every 20 years, New Yorkers vote on whether or not to hold a Constitutional Convention. Holding a Convention would allow elected delegates to consider changes and amendments to the State Constitution. Delegates would be elected in November 2018, and the Convention would begin in April 2019. Proposed changes to the State Constitution would then be voted on by the public.
  • Proposal 2: Pension Forfeiture – This measure would allow judges to reduce or remove taxpayer-funded pensions from public officials who have been convicted of a felony related to their public position.
  • Proposal 3: Local Land Banks – This proposal would establish a 250-acre land bank for localities in the Adirondack and Catskill parks to use for road repair and construction, infrastructure upgrades and the creation of bike paths.

BEWARE OF MISINFORMATION

It’s critical for voters to get information that will help their decision, but it’s also important to be wary of the information that’s being circulated. For example, some have claimed that a blank vote on a ballot proposal is counted as a “YES” vote. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Despite efforts from the Rockefeller Institute and others, some misinformation has spread far and wide. Whatever position one holds regarding the propositions, it is critical each voter has accurate information about what they will be asked to consider on Election Day.

I encourage you to take a moment to review the arguments for and against each measure and make a decision based on the facts. New York is stronger when its people are accurately informed and engaged in our great democratic process.

What do you think? I want to hear from you. Send me your feedback, suggestions and ideas regarding this or any other issue facing New York State. You can always contact my district office at (315) 781-2030 or email me at kolbb@nyassembly.gov.