Ballot access in New York is currently maintained by polling 50,000 votes for Governor, but a new state senate bill could change the rule to polling 50,000 votes for any statewide race–a requirement that is much easier to reach.
The state Senate may be offering a helping hand to the scandal-stained Working Families Party.
A plan – introduced anonymously last week – would make it easier for the labor-backed political party to keep its ballot line, even if Andrew Cuomo refuses the party’s nomination.
The proposal would grant permanent ballot status to a party that garners 50,000 votes in any statewide race. Current law requires a party to obtain at least 50,000 votes only in a governor’s race to keep its ballot line.
“It looks like a gift to the Working Families Party,” said NYPIRG’s Blair Horner, a good-government advocate.
Cuomo has been under pressure to decline the party’s nomination because of a criminal probe, and its ties to major labor unions and special interests. Senate spokesman Austin Shafran said the bill was introduced by chamber leaders, and denied it was intended as a gift to the Working Families Party.
“Any constituency that carries with it the support of 50,000 New Yorkers deserves to be heard in the electoral process,” he said.
The move comes as the party announced a series of changes to repair its reputation in the wake of allegations it illegally subsidized city campaigns last year.
Richard Winger adds that using this procedure, the Green Party of New York would be on the ballot.