New York State Legislature To Vote On Fusion Voting Ban

The New York State Legislature, which is primarily controlled by Democrats, will be introducing legislation on Monday to ban its longstanding Electoral Fusion Law. This move has been criticized by Third Party activists for being a punishment of the Working Families Party for backing Cynthia Nixon in the Democratic Primary.

Electoral Fusion, the act of two parties nominating the same candidate on a ballot, has been used in the US since the 19th Century, most prominently by the People’s Party in the Presidential Elections of 1896 and 1900 to endorse the like-minded Democrat William Jennings Bryan. Though it’s use has waned to only 9 states, New York has utilized it to allow smaller parties to gain or keep ballot access by getting 50,000 votes on their individual ballot line which is usually accomplished by endorsing the Democrat (Typical of the Working Families Party), endorsing the Republican (Typical of the Conservative Party), or endorsing the likely winner regardless of views or party (Typical of the Independence Party). Parties have been formed purely to be alternative ballot lines such as the Women’s Equality Party is for the Democratic Party.

While some third parties such as the Green Party, Libertarian Party, and Serve America Movement will continue to run candidates, parties that focus on electoral fusion to accomplish their goals may have some problems going forward if fusion voting gets banned.

11 thoughts on “New York State Legislature To Vote On Fusion Voting Ban

  1. SocraticGadfly

    “Some parties”?

    You mean the “Working Families Party,” which has never, IIRC, run a truly independent candidate and never fused with anybody but Dems.

    When Cynthia McKinney lost the primary last year to Cuomo, she became yesterday’s news to WFP.

  2. Richard Winger

    This is a very interesting story. I can’t find any other news story that says an anti-fusion bill will be introduced on Monday. How did the author learn this information? Who is the author?

  3. Jonathan Makeley

    This an underhanded attempt by some Democratic politicians to weaken the political presence of other parties, and to suppress cooperation between parties, for their own political gain. Hope their effort fails.

  4. paulie

    Who is the author?

    You can see the author on the bottom of every IPR article. In this case Fernando Mercado. I don’t know what his sources are.

  5. SocraticGadfly

    Richard, at Ballot Access, didn’t you say Monday that most NY Dems were Against such a bill? But that was just a caucus vote on that date. I think Fernando is confused about what already happened THIS Monday.

  6. Richard Winger

    There is no bill yet in the legislature. All that has happened is that the Democratic Party state committee voted to try to persuade the legislature to abolish fusion.

  7. Richard Winger

    On March 6, twenty-six New York Democratic State Senators signed a letter, expressing support for fusion. New York state only has 63 state senators. This virtually guarantees that fusion is safe, for this year anyway.

  8. Tony From Long Island

    Johno The Dims want one party control. Like the old Soviet Union.

    I don’t know how that is relevant to this thread. This bill would affect both Ds and Rs equally. Plus, save that “dims” nonsense for facebook or disqus.

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