Issues: Elections


ALBANY, NY—State Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) today lauded the passage of the state’s fourth and historic consecutive on-time budget. This has not been accomplished with the same Governor and legislative leaders in more than 40 years.

April 1, 2014

Legislature approves "National Popular Vote" bill to empower New York voters in presidential elections

Senator George D. Maziarz is pleased to announce that legislation he cosponsored to make New York State more relevant in presidential elections was approved in both chambers of the Legislature by overwhelming margins yesterday. 

The “National Popular Vote” bill (S.3149-A/A.4422-A) would allow New York to enter into an interstate agreement through which all member states would award their electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the nationwide popular vote.

March 26, 2014
March 26, 2014

Senator Griffo's Floor Comments on National Popular Vote Bill

Thank you, Mr. President.

I want to thank all of those who are co-sponsoring this, especially Senator Parker who has carried this bill in the past. I appreciate their efforts as well as Assemblyman Dinowitz.

Elections are the foundation of our democracy. In order to have the most representative government possible, we need a system that both attracts voters to participate in the process and requires candidates to deal with all people on all issues.

That is not the current scenario in which we find ourselves every four years. Potential presidential candidates concentrate more than two-thirds of their advertising budget and two-thirds of their campaign stops in just five states. Almost 100 percent of their message is seen in approximately 16 “battleground” states.

March 25, 2014

Senate Passes Bill To Include New York In the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact


Measure Guarantees That The Presidency Is Won By The Candidate Who Wins The Most Votes in All 50 States

March 25, 2014

John Lemondes undecided about GOP primary for Congress, rules out run for state Senate

By Mark Weiner |

on March 06, 2014 at 7:08 PM, updated March 07, 2014 at 11:57 AM

WASHINGTON -- Retired Army Col. John Lemondes, who finished second in the race for the Republican designation for Congress, said today he has ruled out a possible campaign for state Senate.

Lemondes, 48, of LaFayette, lives in the district of State Sen. David Valesky, D-Oneida, who currently has no Republican opponent in this year's election.

Lemondes had been rumored as a possible opponent to Valesky after his strong showing Saturday in the Republican committee vote for a candidate in the 24th Congressional District.

March 18, 2014

Staten Island Sen. Savino blasts lawmaker who wants Independent Democratic Conference members tossed from Democratic Party

By Tom Wrobleski/Staten Island Advance

on March 04, 2014 at 9:00 AM, updated March 04, 2014 at 9:08 AM

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. - State Sen. Diane Savino (D-North Shore/Brooklyn) on Monday pushed back against a Democratic colleague who said that Ms. Savino and the rest of the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) should be tossed from the party for working with Republicans.

Sen. Martin Dilan (D-Brooklyn) told the Daily News, "They're not Democrats, no matter what they say.

They should all be disenrolled by the Democratic Party."

March 18, 2014

NYS Senate IDC Member David Valesky Gets Support From Local County Democratic Leader

BY KEN LOVETT, MARCH 3, 2014 5:08 PM

Onondaga County Democratic Committee Chairman Mark English rejected a call for him to try and oust Senate Independent Democratic Committee member David Valesky from the party.

“Dave has been true to the core principles of the party,” English said.

The county chair said he has not heard from Sen. Martin Dilan, who said in my “Albany Insider” column today that he would be reaching out to the five IDC members’ local county chairs to encourage them to expel them for “party disloyalty.”

“Dave Valesky is a terrific individual and he’s represented this district well,” English said.

March 18, 2014

Committee Meeting: Elections Meeting

Senate Standing Committee on Elections Senator Thomas O'Mara, Chair 1:00 PM, Monday, March 24, 2014 Room 813 LOB

March 24, 1:00 PM - 1:04 PM

Griffo Calls For New Regents Selection Process

ALBANY – Sen. Joseph A. Griffo today called on his colleagues in the state Legislature to re-design its process for appointing Board of Regents members, in light of systemic failures in the implementation of the Common Core curriculum.

“Regents board members control the state’s educational system, determine all its policies and appoint the commissioner of education,” said Griffo. “Frankly, the process of selecting an appropriate Regents member is too important to be decided by a single vote of the entire Legislature.”

March 4, 2014

Media Advisory: Women Legislators and Groups Join in Support of Fair Elections Press Event: Wednesday, March 5th in Albany!

Albany, NY - Please join the Fair Elections for New York Campaign, Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, NYC Public Advocate Tish James, Members of the New York State Senate and Assembly, and women's rights advocates to call for Fair Elections, a public financing system for state elections in the final 2014 budget.

Fair Elections is supported by a vast majority of women in the New York State Senate and Assembly, and is a women's issue that can be accomplished in this budget.

WHEN: Wednesday, March 5, 2014

TIME: 12:00 noon

March 3, 2014

Senator Tkaczyk’s Primary Reimbursement Bill Introduced in Assembly by Assemblyman Felix Ortiz

Senator Tkaczyk’s Primary Reimbursement Bill Introduced in Assembly by Assemblyman Felix Ortiz

Legislators ask Gov to include funding in budget

Senator Tkaczyk’s measure to reimburse local governments and property taxpayers for the cost of a second Primary Election has been introduced by Assemblyman Felix Oritz, and the two legislators today requested the Governor include funding for the bill in his 30-day budget amendments.

February 18, 2014

Committee Meeting: Elections Meeting

Senate Standing Committee on Elections  Senator Thomas O'Mara, Chair  1:00 PM, Monday, February 10, 2014  Room 813 LOB

February 10, 1:00 PM - 1:05 PM

Separate NY, federal primaries cost millions

By Chris McKenna

Times Herald-Record

February 01, 2014 - 2:00 AM

Holding separate state and federal primaries in New York in 2012 due to partisan fighting wasted millions of taxpayer dollars — including about $260,000 in Orange County alone.

Yet that may be what happens again this year, because of a continued impasse in the state Legislature about when to hold both elections.

The Democratic-controlled Assembly voted 126-11 on Jan. 13 to move primaries for state and local offices from September to late June to coincide with a court-imposed date for New York's primaries for U.S. Senate and congressional seats. Twenty-six Republicans joined Democrats in support of the bill.

February 4, 2014

NY should combine primary days to save money, Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk says

By Kyle Hughes, Kingston Freeman

01/29/14, 6:01 PM EST |

ALBANY >> A bill stalled in the state Senate to realign political primary dates in New York will cost local governments tens of millions of dollars if it is allowed to die, officials said Wednesday.

They estimated the cost of holding separate state and federal primaries to comply with a court ruling could total anywhere from $25 million to $50 million.

“It’s a lot of money,” said Ulster County Democratic Elections Commissioner Vic Work. “It’s just like driving on a train with $25 million in ones with the window open and throwing the money out the window.”

January 30, 2014

Legislation introduced for state to pay for primaries

By Haley Viccaro, Daily Gazette

ALBANY — Counties and taxpayers could face up to $50 million in additional costs to support two separate state and federal primary elections over the next two years.

Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk, D-Duanesburg, introduced legislation Wednesday calling on the state to pay back local governments for the estimated costs of the two primaries.

“It would relieve local governments of this unfunded mandate and put it on the state, where it belongs,” Tkaczyk said during a news conference today in Albany.

January 29, 2014

Senator Parker Urges Gov. Cuomo to Call Special Election for 11 Vacant Seats

In a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senator Parker requested the Governor to hold special elections to provide elected representatives for the 11 principally African-American and Latino districts that are without current legislative representation. 

Please click the pdf link below to read the letter in its entirety. 

01282014 Letter to Gov Cuomo re calling special elections because of 1 million_ disenfranchised (1).pdf

January 29, 2014

Tkaczyk Measure Would Repay Taxpayers for Wasteful Second Primary Election

(ALBANY, NY) -- While the Federal courts have forced New York to move its Congressional primaries from September to June, the State Senate’s coalition leaders have failed to move State Primaries to coincide with the June date.  In response, State Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk has introduced legislation (S.6417)that would require the State to pay back local governments and taxpayers for the costs of the second, unnecessary and wasteful Primary -- estimated to be up to $50 million for every two-year election cycle.

January 29, 2014

Tkaczyk Sponsors Bill To Consolidate State Primary Elections, Will Save Taxpayers $50 Million Every Two Years

State Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk has co-sponsored legisaltion to consolidate the state’s Primary Election day for state and federal offices to a single day in June. This bill would save state and local governments $50 million every two years by holding a single primary election and moving Primary Election day from the month of September.

December 30, 2013
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