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January 2017
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Voted!

This year is a very-off-year election, with only local offices up for consideration. Not being a resident of NYC, the race that will undoubtedly have the most and most direct impact on me is one that I am not eligible to cast a ballot in - which saves me a difficult choice, as I do not feel that the challenger is necessarily qualified for the office, but I cannot in good conscience reward the incumbent for circumventing the will of the electorate with respect to the referendum establishing term limits for certain executive and legislative offices in NYC.

This year, as usual, the ballot that I was casting was, given rules that I follow concerning certain parties, mostly no-votes or "uncontested"/forced votes. Democratic Party candidates were endorsed across the board by both the Working Families and Right-to-Life parties; Republican Party candidates were usually, but not always, endorsed by the Conservative Party. The Independence Party endorsed many Republican candidates, but fielded a couple of their own, one of which was cross-endorsed by the Conservative Party. Offices up for balloting were four Justices of the (NYS) Supreme Court, County Executive, County Clerk, District Attorney, County Legislator, and County Court Judge.

There were two propositions on the ballot. Both are for Amendments to the State Constitution. In New York State, much that would be handled elsewhere as ordinary legislation is instead put into our Constitution; to amend it requires that the proposed amendment pass two separate legislatures, and then be placed before and accepted by the electorate. Nevertheless, we seem to amend our Constitution quite frequently.

Proposition One proposes a swap of lands, giving a power company some lands adjacent to a road through a forest preserve in exchange for land of similar or greater value adjacent to the preserve, to be added to the preserve. Research revealed that this is actually a special-case situation; the line in question (which has actually already been built, under health and safety emergency provisions) is providing a second feed to an area - essentially one large village - that only had a single feed that was often cut by falling branches in winter, forcing the state to provide - at great expense - alternative shelter while the cut line was being repaired. There is no apparent opposition to this; not even the environmentalists had any protests over this construction. This is, essentially, retroactive approval, so that it will be subject to full regulatory controls rather than the less-restrictive emergency controls.

Proposition Two: Currently, inmates may only work for the state, a political subdivision of the state, or a public institution thereof. They may not work, even voluntarily, for private schools, churches, community organizations, and so on. Under the State Constitution as it stands, the Legislature may not change this. The proposal would not itself allow inmates to work for nonprofits. Instead, it would grant the Legislature the authority to pass legislation that would permit inmates to work for nonprofits, and the expectation is that any restrictions concerning eligibility (of inmates to work, or of organizations to accept inmates as workers) would be part of the legislation. I do not trust the Legislature to write unambiguous legislation that would prevent unsuitable combinations of inmates and jobs, so I voted NOT to approve this amendment to the State Constitution.

I'm at...: Home
I'm listening to...: Nothing in particular