Streams

Talking Politics: Voter Registration

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The deadline to register to vote in this fall’s local elections is Friday. John Mollenkopf, director of the Center for Urban Research at CUNY, discusses recent voter registration patterns and what they tell us about the changing political climate in NYC and beyond.

Have you already registered? Are you a first-time voter in New York? Switching your affiliation? We want your voter-registration stories!

Guests:

John Mollenkopf

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Comments [14]

RJ

To the folks who have problems voting due to work or being out of town:

You can *always* vote by absentee ballot. You can get the forms online: http://www.elections.state.ny.us/NYSBOE/news/2004_absentee_general_deadline.pdf

and

http://www.elections.state.ny.us/Voting.html

Aug. 18 2010 11:52 AM
C. Richard Wagner from Brooklyn

I am surprised that you and your guest don't know the proper nomenclature in the Election Law. You REGISTER to vote (which allows you to vote in all General Elections) and you may ENROLL in a party (which allows a registered voter to vote in that party"s Primary election for candidates for the upcoming General Election). Enrollment in a political party does not require you to vote for that party's candidates in any General Election.

Aug. 18 2010 11:47 AM
john from office

hjs11211

I will refer you to my comments from Monday regarding the Hunter College High school. We keep reducing our standards

Aug. 18 2010 11:41 AM
Kate Zidar from Greenpoint USA

Anyone in Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Clinton Hill or Ft. Greene wondering why they should register?

Check out my candidacy here:
www.katezidar.org
and that of my colleague Lincoln Restler:
www.lincolnrestler.org

Thanks Brian for the topic!

Aug. 18 2010 11:34 AM
sam from astoria

I always hated when I was traveling during the Bush era and Europeans would disdain me and say "how could you have re-elected Bush?! Why do you all love Bush?" But am I wrong that only 20% of eligible voters voted for him? The same is true for any president, but it's insane! Nobody votes! What a powerful minority!

Aug. 18 2010 11:24 AM
Andre

On the Williamsburg point, a lot of people stay registered in the states they move from because a lot of the times those states are backwards (read: Republican), and a vote for a democrat or independent there is worth a lot more than it is in NY, where liberalism is more firmly established.

Aug. 18 2010 11:24 AM
Don from Long Island

One infuriating aspect of voting to me is how many people vote for one of the Big Two Red/Blue candidates as a means of voting *against* the other. When I first voted in 2000 in the presidential election, was torn between voting third party or writing in Bugs Bunny. Now, I find that I am locally stuck between Party A candidates that I can't stand because they're inept and Party B candidates that I can't stand because of their platforms. I can see why people don't bother voting.

Aug. 18 2010 11:21 AM
Mike from NYU

Its not just ideology that determines voter age. I am 29 and have voted every time I could but that means having missed 4 midterm elections due to work. People that work are harder pressed to vote than retired people. The only way to have equal voting rights is a voting day holiday.

Aug. 18 2010 11:19 AM
RJ

You've touched on the return of 2008 Obama activists to voting/activism, and that could be a whole different show: The ability to turn an electoral campaign into a multi-issue "movement," or at least organized group of activists. As a longtime activist who tried to encourage both 2004 and 2008 electoral to become active in midterms, I found that many were only willing to work on presidential campaigns. They were unwilling to talk about state or city politics. The age tended to be on the younger side, 20s, I'd say, though this is not a scientific sample of any kind.

Aug. 18 2010 11:18 AM
RJ

You've touched on the return of 2008 Obama activists to voting/activism, and that could be a whole different show: The ability to turn an electoral campaign into a multi-issue "movement," or at least organized group of activists. As a longtime activist who tried to encourage both 2004 and 2008 electoral to become active in midterms, I found that many were only willing to work on presidential campaigns. They were unwilling to talk about state or city politics. The age tended to be on the younger side, 20s, I'd say, though this is not a scientific sample of any kind.

Aug. 18 2010 11:16 AM
Bill from New Rochelle

Jennifer, I suspect that you are breaking the election laws. You should check with a Philadelphia Lawyer.

Welcome to NY.
For a real NY experience, come to the Top-Free march this Sunday at Central Park:
http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/They-will-be-taking-off-their-tops/120147598011819?v=info&ref=ts

Aug. 18 2010 11:15 AM

because of the two party system in this country and the one party system in many states, the primaries are the only chance we have to choose a candidate. after the primaries many races are finished, thanks to gerrymandering and red state / blue state divide.
i vote in the dem primary, but in nov i vote left of the party

Aug. 18 2010 11:14 AM
Bill from New Rochelle

There is a big difference between REGISTRATION and ENROLLMENT.

Registration allows you to VOTE in a general elactioon. Enrollment allows you to participate and vote in a primary, and to help place candidates on primary slates.

Aug. 18 2010 11:11 AM
Jennifer from Queens

I moved to NYC in January from Pennsylvania, but I have decided not to change my voter registration. I will be voting absentee in PA because it actually has competitive races! In NYC, my choice would be, which Democrat do I want to pick. I prefer to feel like my vote is valuable fighting to get Joe Sestak elected to the Senate, and while Obama will surely win NY in a walk in 2012, he might need my help in PA. My vote is more valuable there.

Aug. 18 2010 11:10 AM

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