My ballot, 2012 — Part 2

Continuing the My Ballot project. Previous editions:

As in prior years, I’m doing this mostly for my own benefit, as I hate to enter a polling place with no idea in advance about the less-publicized races. This year, though, I’m also doing it for Julian; I want him to learn what it takes to research elections, issues, and candidates, and I want to model that behavior for him on a regular basis. Of course, this year he won’t have any idea what’s going on, but if I establish a habit of doing this research, it’ll be engrained by the time he’s old enough to pay attention.

The sample ballot for my district is now online. Many jurisdictions offer this service, so it’s worth taking some time to find out whether yours does, so that you can review the ballot prior to voting. So, for example, in all my earlier research, I failed to notice that we were electing a Civil Court judge, so reviewing my ballot was important.

Main races this year are the national ones: president (of course), Senate, and House of Representatives. We do have state races this year, for State Senate and Assembly. NYC City Council and NYC mayoral elections are off-year elections; they’ll occur next year, 2013. NYS gubernatorial election is the following year, 2014.

Names are listed in the order they appear on the ballot.

Also, NYS has electoral fusion laws, that allow minor parties to cross-endorse candidates on other party tickets, so where multiple parties have endorsed a single candidate, I’ve also listed the minor parties.

(The idea behind fusion is that if you’re sympathetic with, say, the Conservative party platform, but you don’t want to “waste” a vote on a third-party candidate, you can still vote for Romney. Generally speaking, the Working Families Party nod usually goes for the Democratic candidate and the Conservative for the Republican, but that’s not always the case. Furthermore, on the state and local level, a minor-party endorsement has been known to influence policy.)

President:

Here’s a funny piece of trivia about this race: one candidate — Peta Lindsay — is only 28 years old, and therefore legally unqualified to be president.

U.S. Senate:

Representative in Congress, District 9 (parts of Brooklyn; was part of a redistricting effort after the 2010 Census; includes parts of Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Gerritsen Beach, Mill Basin, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, and Sheepshead Bay.):

  • Yvette Clark (Democratic/Working Families; incumbent, but in the pre-redistricting 11th District, which covered most of the geographical area of the new 9th)
  • Daniel Cavanagh (Republican/Conservative)
  • Vivia Morgan (Green)

State Senate, District 17:

We live in what’s considered a Super-Jewish district, consisting of Orthodox populations in Midwood and Boro Park. Even the Democrat in this race is far more conservative, politically and socially, than I’m comfortable with.  Note, too, that the Conservative Party cross-endorsed the Democrat here, not the Republican.

Politics in New York City and State is never a dull topic.

Member of Assembly, District 44:

Our Assembly race, on the other hand, looks refreshingly secular.

Judges of the Civil Court — County

Supreme Court Justice, District 2 (Kings County)

You’ll see something funny here. Chambers, Kamins, and Miller all carry endorsements from three parties. In New York State, Justice elections are a joke. The candidates are chosen by the two major parties, who then cross-endorse each others’ candidates.

  • Cheryl E. Chambers (Democratic/Republican/Conservative)
  • Barry M. Kamins (Democratic/Republican/Conservative)
  • William Miller (Democratic/Republican/Conservative)
  • Arshad Majid (Working Families)
  • William A. Gerard (Working Families)
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