Assemblymember Phil Steck (D-Colonie) announced that legislation he authored to reform procedures for handling petitions for elected office passed the Assembly (A.7761). The bill creates statewide standards for filing objections to petitions for elected office and uniform procedures to remove a candidate from the ballot in local and county races.
“When running for office, every candidate should feel like the system is working with them, not against them,” Steck said. “We should do everything we can to encourage driven leaders to take on an active role in our democracy and serve their communities.”
While state regulations require county boards of elections to notify candidates for state positions when a petition is challenged, county boards of elections are able to establish their own standards and rules for petition filing at the local and county level. Many counties do not notify candidates when their petitions are challenged, keeping inexperienced or insurgent candidates in the dark. Steck’s legislation would level the playing field and establish clear statewide standards, requiring notice for all elected positions. The bill would strengthen due process in elections and encourage more New Yorkers to become involved in local politics, noted Steck.