Deadline looms for voters to register
By Adam Wisnieski
Mayoral and City Council elections may be a long way off, but the registration deadline is upon us.
If you plan to vote in the primary, you must have your registration with your party affiliation in the mail by Friday, Oct. 12 so it can reach the Board of Elections by Wednesday, Oct. 17. The registration deadline for this November’s presidential election is the same day.
Unless a serious Republican or Independent candidate is ready to follow in Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s footsteps, the Democratic primary for mayor next year may determine the winner for the general election.
The field of candidates (or possible candidates) is packed and includes Speaker Christine Quinn, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Bill Thompson, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and Comptroller John Liu. There could also be a heated Republican primary, with NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly on the ballot.
Locally, only one candidate has officially announced his candidacy for City Council District 11. Local businessman and treasurer of the Kingsbridge-Riverdale-Van Cortlandt Development Corporation Cliff Stanton is running as a Democrat for the seat Councilman Oliver Koppell will vacate after serving out his third term.
Community Board 8 Aging chair Andrew Cohen recently registered a campaign committee for District 11, but has not officially announced a run. Other potential candidates include CB 8 Traffic and Transportation chair Dan Padernacht, CB 8 member Robert Press and Deputy Comptroller for Public Affairs Ari Hoffnung.
New York State law requires anyone who wants to vote in a party’s primary to be registered in that party a year in advance. The rule was put in place to prevent one party from packing a primary with voters who will pick a weaker opponent for their chosen candidate to run against in the general election.
Lawmakers have tried to change the rule to no avail.
Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz said he is considering introducing a bill that will move the deadline closer to the primary.
“Having to make a decision 11 months before the primary is a little severe to say the least,” he said. “The reason is to prevent party packing, but it seems a little crazy to have such an early deadline.”
For more information on how to register to vote, go to www.vote.nyc.ny.us.