Guide To Election Day Ballot Amendments

By Zoltan Lucas: Contributor Bronx Chronicle

Five questions will appear on the ballot  for this years general elections On Tuesday November 5th that will determine if a total of 19 proposals in the form of five different amendments to be approved or rejected that directly affect the New York City’s constitution. Here’s a rundown of the ballot questions and where to find more information in case you find yourself with a little extra time on your hands before making it to your polling site.

1. Elections 
Ranked choice voting is among the  most anticipated proposals and would take effect in 2021 just before the mayoral race. A “yes” vote would make it so New Yorkers rank their candidates for city primaries and special elections in order of preference from first to last choice. An outright majority (50 percent) of first choice votes decides the winner. If there isn’t a candidate with 50 percent of first choice votes, the last place candidate is eliminated and people who had the eliminated candidate ranked first, will have their second choice now ranked first and the process continues until a candidate with an outright majority can be chosen. 

Some proponents say it will tidy up the system (no more separate runoff elections)  and make it more likely that candidates with the majority of actual votes will win.

Some opponents say ranked choice may create more procedural problems to deal with then it will fix.

Here’s an in depth article from Quartz on the pros and cons of ranked choice voting

Heres how the revision commission explains the proposal (1min video)

Here’s a summary of the rest of the proposals affected by Question 1 

2. Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB)  

This measure tackles how the independent body that takes complaints about police officers functions. A “yes” vote means the CCRB would get a larger board, with one new member appointed by the Public Advocate and one jointly by the mayor and speaker of the council. The measure would also require the police commissioner to provide an explanation when the CCRB’s disciplinary recommendations aren’t followed.

Here’s how the revision commission explains all proposals effected by Question 2 (2min video)

Here is a full list of proposals affected by this measure

3.New York City Ethics and Government Charter 

The Conflict Of Interest Board who enforces and interprets the city’s ethics laws is proposing  a 2 years period instead of a one year period after leaving office that a person can appear before the city agencies they served, applicable after January 2022. A “yes” vote will also have 2 of 5 mayor appointed  COIB members replaced by the comptroller and public advocate and provide COIB members with limits on campaign involvement and contribution amounts. 

Heres how the revision commision explains the proposals effected by question 3 (1min video)  

4. The City Budget 

This measure would allow for an official “Rainy Day Fund” so money can be used at a later date with approval from the state legislature. A baseline budget would also take effect based on the 2020 fiscal year for the Public Advocate and Borough President, the two offices that act as a balance of power to the mayor and legislature. 

Heres how the revision commision explains the proposals effected by question 4 (1min video) 

Here’s a full list of proposals affected by this measure

5. Land Use

The final  amendment would require the DPL to provide a Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) used for modifying zoning, to the affected Borough President, Borough Board, and Community Board, 30 days prior to the application being certified for public review and the summary would have to be posted online. A “yes” vote would also allow a longer period of time for affected community boards to review ULURP projects before they go to the public, from 60 days to 75  or 90 days depending on the date the project was certified. 

Heres how the revision commission explains the proposals affected by question 5 (1min video) 

  • The ballot will include electrons for Public Advocate, District attorney in Queens and a City Council seat.
  • To find out more information on early voting locations and times visit: 
  • Ballots open  Nov 5th at 6am. 

Get out and Vote!

This year is the first time New York residents will be allowed to vote early with blank as alternate days to make it out to the poles. Your poll site may be different for early voting so checkout so be sure to check out the full list of polling sites

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