Petitioning relief… oh please, oh please, oh please!

Generally I can assume I’m against any new bill introduced in Albany without even reading it, but I’ll make an exception in this instance. Senator DeFrancisco has introduced a bill, S29, which would reduce by half the number of signatures required for designating petitions and independent nominating petitions across the board.

Anyone who has ever collected signatures for a candidate — especially for a candidate who is not running on a major-party line — knows that it can make a root canal feel like a day at Astroland. Since the Libertarian Party doesn’t have official ballot status, our petitioning period comes at the hot, sticky end of the summer, and the number of sigs we have to collect just to get on the ballot is daunting. All too often, I’ve seen our candidates burn out by the end of petitioning season and have nothing left in the tank for the prime fall campaign season.

I’d love to see this bill get some traction, although I don’t see what incentive Joe Bruno (or Shelly Silver in the Assembly) has to get behind it. The full text of the bill after the jump:

          STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________

                                           29

                               2007-2008 Regular Sessions

                    IN SENATE

                                       (Prefiled)

                                     January 3, 2007
                                       ___________

        Introduced  by  Sen.  DeFRANCISCO — read twice and ordered printed, and
          when printed to be committed to the Committee on Elections

        AN ACT to amend the election law, in relation to  signature  requirement
          on designating and nominating petitions

          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:

     1    Section 1. Subdivisions 1 and 2 of section 6-136 of the election  law,
     2  subdivision 1 as amended by chapter 200 of the laws of 1996, subdivision
     3  2 as amended by chapter 79 of the laws of 1992, the opening paragraph of
     4  subdivision  2  as  amended by chapter 659 of the laws of 1994 and para-
     5  graph (c-1) of subdivision 2 as amended by chapter 418 of  the  laws  of
     6  1993, are amended to read as follows:
     7    1.  Petitions  for any office to be filled by the voters of the entire
     8  state must be signed by not less than [fifteen thousand or  fiveseven
     9  thousand five hundred or two and one-half per centum, whichever is less,
    10  of  the then enrolled voters of the party in the state (excluding voters
    11  in inactive status), of whom not less than [one hundred or  fivefifty
    12  or  two  and  one-half  per  centum, whichever is less, of such enrolled
    13  voters shall reside in each of one-half of the  congressional  districts
    14  of the state.
    15    2.  All other petitions must be signed by not less than [five] two and
    16  one-half per centum, as determined by the preceding enrollment,  of  the
    17  then  enrolled voters of the party residing within the political unit in
    18  which the office or position is to be voted  for  (excluding  voters  in
    19  inactive  status),  provided,  however,  that  for  the following public
    20  offices the number of signatures need not exceed the following limits:
    21    (a) For any office to be filled by all voters of the city of New York,
    22  [seven thousand five hundred] three thousand seven hundred fifty  signa-
    23  tures;

         EXPLANATION–Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD02021-01-7

        S. 29                               2

     1    (b)  For  any  office  to be filled by all the voters of any county or
     2  borough within the city of New York, [four] two thousand signatures;
     3    (c)  For  any  office  to be filled in the city of New York by all the
     4  voters of any municipal court  district,  [one  thousand  five  hundred]
     5  seven hundred fifty signatures;
     6    (c-1)  For  any office to be filled in the city of New York by all the
     7  voters of any city council district, [nine hundred] four  hundred  fifty
     8  signatures;
     9    (d)  For  any office to be filled by all the voters of cities or coun-
    10  ties, except the city of New York and counties therein, containing  more
    11  than  two  hundred  fifty  thousand  inhabitants  according  to the last
    12  preceding federal enumeration, [two] one thousand signatures;
    13    (e) For any office to be filled by all the voters of cities  or  coun-
    14  ties  containing  more  than  twenty-five thousand and not more than two
    15  hundred fifty thousand inhabitants,  according  to  the  last  preceding
    16  federal enumeration, [one thousand] five hundred signatures;
    17    (f) For any office to be filled by all the voters of any other city or
    18  county, or of a councilmanic district in any city other than the city of
    19  New York, [five hundred] two hundred fifty signatures;
    20    (g) For any office to be filled by all the voters of any congressional
    21  district, [twelve hundred fifty] six hundred fifty signatures;
    22    (h) For any office to be filled by all the voters of any state senato-
    23  rial district, [one thousand] five hundred signatures;
    24    (i)  For  any  office  to  be  filled  by  all  voters of any assembly
    25  district, [five hundred] two hundred fifty signatures;
    26    (j) For any office to be filled by all the  voters  of  any  political
    27  subdivision,  except  as  herein  otherwise  provided,  contained within
    28  another political subdivision, not to exceed the  number  of  signatures
    29  required for the larger subdivision;
    30    (k)  For  any  other  office to be filled by the voters of a political
    31  subdivision containing more than one assembly district, county or  other
    32  political  subdivision,  not  to  exceed the aggregate of the signatures
    33  required for the subdivisions or parts of subdivisions so contained; and
    34    (l) For any county legislative district, [five  hundredtwo  hundred
    35  fifty signatures.
    36    §  2.  Section  6-142 of the election law, as amended by chapter 79 of
    37  the laws of 1992 and paragraph (d-1) of  subdivision  2  as  amended  by
    38  chapter 418 of the laws of 1993, is amended to read as follows:
    39    §  6-142.  Independent  nominations; number of signatures. 1. An inde-
    40  pendent nominating petition for candidates to be voted for  by  all  the
    41  voters  of the state must be signed by at least [fifteen thousand] seven
    42  thousand five hundred voters, of whom at least [one hundred] fifty shall
    43  reside in each of one-half of the congressional districts of the State.
    44    2. An independent nominating petition for the nomination of candidates
    45  for an office to be filled by the voters of  any  other  political  unit
    46  must be signed by voters numbering [five] two and one-half per centum of
    47  the  total  number  of votes cast for governor at the last gubernatorial
    48  election in such unit, excluding blank and void votes, except  that  not
    49  more than [three thousand five hundred] one thousand seven hundred fifty
    50  signatures shall be required upon any such petition for any office to be
    51  filled in any political subdivision of the state wholly outside the city
    52  of New York, and not more than the following numbers of signatures shall
    53  be  required  upon  any  such  petition for the following public offices
    54  respectively:

        S. 29                               3

     1    (a) for any office to be filled  in  any  county  or  portion  thereof
     2  outside  the city of New York, [one thousand five hundred] seven hundred
     3  fifty;
     4    (b)  for  any office to be filled by all the voters of the city of New
     5  York, [seven thousand five hundred] three thousand seven hundred fifty;
     6    (b-1) for any office to be filled by all the voters of any  two  coun-
     7  ties in such city, [four] two thousand;
     8    (c)  for  any  office  to be filled by all the voters of any county or
     9  borough in such city, [four] two thousand;
    10    (d) for any office to be filled by all the  voters  of  any  municipal
    11  court district, [three thousand] one thousand five hundred signatures;
    12    (d-1)  for  any office to be filled in the city of New York by all the
    13  voters of any city council district, [two thousand  seven  hundredone
    14  thousand three hundred fifty;
    15    (e) for any office to be filled by all the voters of any congressional
    16  district,  [three  thousand  five  hundredone  thousand seven hundred
    17  fifty;
    18    (f) for any office to be filled by all the voters of any state senato-
    19  rial district, [three thousand] one thousand five hundred;
    20    (g) for any office to be filled by  all  the  voters  of  an  assembly
    21  district, [one thousand five hundred] seven hundred fifty;
    22    (h)  for  the  office  of  trustee of the Long Island Power Authority,
    23  [five hundred] two hundred fifty;
    24    (i) for any office to be filled by the voters of any political  subdi-
    25  vision  contained  within another political subdivision except as herein
    26  otherwise provided, not to exceed the number of signatures required  for
    27  the larger subdivision.
    28    § 3. This act shall take effect on the first of December next succeed-
    29  ing the date on which it shall have become a law.

2 comments for “Petitioning relief… oh please, oh please, oh please!

  1. Ron Moore
    April 16, 2007 at 7:31 pm

    Hi Karol,

    Thanks for the feedback.

    Just because we aren’t out petitioning doesn’t mean we won’t be out. If we don’t have to petition as much it means we can spend more time on issues and outreach instead of paperwork and 30 second conversations where we can’t spend the time to talk about the good stuff.

    AND, we will qualify more candidates so you, the voter, will have more choices.

    Ron

  2. April 15, 2007 at 3:40 pm

    I wouldn’t have met you if it wasn’t for the petitioning process. ;-)

Comments are closed.