A look at the 2021 statewide ballot proposals

NY Capitol News

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — New York State’s General Election will take place in about two weeks. And this year there are five statewide ballot proposals. 

While other states in the country may have citizen referendums to change their constitutions, in New York State we have a legislative process. 

“Essentially, the legislature has to pass statutory language to amend the state constitution. It has to pass twice with a statewide election in the middle and then after it’s passed twice it will go on the ballot,” said Jennifer Wilson with the League of Women Voters of New York State.

She says the Attorney General can also give input. 

“The Attorney General will make edits to the actual ballot question language to make sure it’s easy to understand and voters can actually have an idea of what’s actually in the amendment,” said Wilson.

If voters approve by at least 50 percent, the proposal is added to the state constitution the following year in January. This year there are 5 questions voters will have the chance to answer.

“If we have them, and it’s not every year, it’s between two to four. They do tend to clump them together so we’re not voting on random ballot proposals every year. So this feels normal,” said Common Cause New York Deputy Director Sarah Goff.

The ballot proposals include:

  • Amending the Apportionment and Redistricting Process
  • Right to Clean Air, Clean Water, and a Healthful Environment
  • Eliminating Ten-Day-Advance Voter Registration Requirement
  • Authorizing No-Excuse Absentee Ballot Voting
  • Increasing the Jurisdiction of the New York City Civil Court.

“Proposal Five does apply to the entire state even though it’s New York City specific,” said Wilson.

Early Voting begins on Saturday, October 23rd and ends on Halloween. Election Day is November 2nd. 

More local election coverage: Your Local Election Headquarters

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