Why Do We Have Ballot Questions Anyway?

Monday, November 04, 2013

Voters on the Upper West Side casting ballots in the 2013 primary election. Voters on the Upper West Side casting ballots in the 2013 primary election. (Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

Morgan Pehme, editor in chief of City & State, explains why voters and not legislators have to decide issues like land swaps, gambling and civil service points for veterans.


Morgan Pehme

Comments [3]

steve from upper west side

Article 14 in the NY State Constitution starts: The lands of the state, now owned or hereafter acquired, constituting the forest preserve as now fixed by law, shall be forever kept as wild forest lands. They shall not be leased, sold or exchanged, or be taken by any corporation, public or private, nor shall the timber thereon be sold, removed or destroyed.

The Constitution can only be amended by legislature or by convention -- both subject to voter approval.

Nov. 04 2013 11:28 AM
Nancy from NYC

Hey, jgarbuz from Queens
("My relatives sold their hotel, The Granite, in 1972 to the mob in anticipation of gambling which ultimately never came."), I remember your family. I have some ties of my own to the Granit from the 60s (my uncle was golf pro) and 70s. Don't bother visiting now, it's terrible what they've done to the place.

Nov. 04 2013 11:25 AM
Olaf from New York

check out
for an interesting attept to expand and update democracy in the city!

Nov. 04 2013 10:40 AM

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