Addabbo: Learn what the proposals on this November's general election ballot mean

This November, when you go into the voting booth to cast your vote, there will be five ballot proposals that will need your attention, and State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. wants to inform you on what these proposals are and what they mean for you.

In addition to voting for the new Mayor, Borough President, Comptroller, Public Advocate, local City Council representatives, and State Supreme Court and Municipal Court appointees, there are a total of five ballot proposals that will change some of the rules governing the voting process in New York and more.

“These ballot proposals are very important as they will shape the way we vote, the district lines, how the City Civil Court operates, and our relationship to the environment,” Addabbo said. “I’ve had some constituents who received their absentee ballots come to my office asking about these proposals and what they mean. I believe it is vital that voters know and understand what they are being asked to vote on. Please use this guide to learn more about the proposals and form an opinion before heading into the voting booth.”

The first ballot proposal relates to Redistricting. This proposal is a constitutional amendment that would freeze the number of state Senators at 63. It also looks to amend the process for the counting of New York State’s population, delete certain provisions that violate the United States Constitution, amends the procedures for appointing co-directors of redistricting commission, and amend the procedure for determining congressional and state legislative lines.

This means that incarcerated individuals would be counted at the residence where they last resided, for the purpose of redistricting Native Americans and non-citizens would be counted for the NY Census if the Federal Census does not count them.

The second proposal would establish a person’s right to clean air and water, and a healthful environment. It would require that state and local governments and businesses consider the environmental impacts of decision-making policies. Currently, 43 states have some form of environmental consideration in their state constitutions, but New York would become the third state to consider a clean environment a civil right.

The third proposal looks to allow the State Legislature to enact laws allowing a citizen to register to vote less than 10 days before an election. As of right now, 20 other states allow for same-day voter registration.

The fourth ballot proposal would delete the absentee ballot requirement that a voter is unable to appear at the polls if absent from the country, or due to an illness or disability. This means that any qualified voter could request an absentee ballot for a Primary or General Election with no reason required. Currently, 34 states and Washington D.C. do not require reasons to request an absentee ballot.

The final proposal looks to increase the New York City Civil Court’s jurisdiction by allowing it to hear and decide claims for up to $50,000. The current limit for the NYC Civil Court is $25,000, and it was last changed in 1983.

“These are just the list and explanation of the proposals that will appear on your ballot on November 2,” Addabbo added. “If you need more information about these proposals, or want to know my stance on any of them as a State Senator, please call my office at 718-738-1111. Be sure to do your research, consider each ballot proposal and vote on these important issues this November.”