June 13, 2019, New York City — The Green Party of New York said last night’s vote on ranked-choice voting (RCV) for New York City Elections was disappointing, as commissioners voted 8-6 against applying RCV to general elections. Party officers praised the six commissioners, including Sal Albanese and Stephen J Fiala, who made a strong case for RCV in all elections for all New Yorkers.
Party officers also said they were disappointed in the position taken by Common Cause, which only advocated for RCV in primaries and special elections. The party said this was a puzzling stance for a so-called “good government” group to take, and made it seem like they were working for Democratic Party incumbents instead of the public interest. The Greens said they would support the fall ballot measure that would allow RCV in primaries and special elections because it can serve as a building block for extending RCV to general elections.
“The Green Party thanks the commissioners who supported ranked choice voting for all elections,” commented Green Party of New York (GPNY) co-chair Gloria Mattera, who lives in Brooklyn. “Despite overwhelming testimony supporting RCV to empower voters in all elections, some Democrats and influential special interests focused on RCV as a mere cost-saving measure to eliminate the need for a runoff election if a candidate in a municipal, citywide primary fails to surpass 40% of the vote. The claim that ‘fusion’ would combine poorly with RCV not only allows one of the worst aspects of New York political culture to stymie real progress, it also ignores that, from 1936-47, New York City used a proportional form of RCV — and it worked.”
“If RCV is limited to only primaries and special elections, it will largely apply only to the major parties who already have all the power, money, media coverage, and influence. Independent voters, along with Greens, Libertarians and other third parties who don’t typically hold primaries, will be denied the chance to equally benefit from RCV. We agree with Commissioners Albanese and Fiala, who said if RCV is good for some elections it should be good for all of them,” commented GPNY co-chair Peter LaVenia. All of the commissioners who voted against RCV for regular, general elections were appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson.
Six commissioners voted in favor of the amendment to include RCV in general elections:
- Sal Albanese, appointed by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams
- James Caras, appointed by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer
- Stephen J. Fiala, appointed by Staten Island Borough President James Oddo
- Rev. Clinton Miller, appointed by City Council Speaker Corey Johnson
- Sateesh Nori, appointed by former Public Advocate Letitia James
- James Vacca, appointed by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Eight commissioners voted against the amendment to include RCV in general elections:
- Dr. Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, appointed by City Council Speaker Corey Johnson
- Commission Chair Gail Benjamin, appointed by City Council Speaker Corey Johnson
- Lisette Camilo, appointed by Mayor Bill De Blasio
- Paula Gavin, appointed by Mayor Bill De Blasio
- Lindsay Greene, appointed by Mayor Bill De Blasio
- Alison Hirsh, appointed by NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer
- Dr. Merryl H. Tisch, appointed by City Council Speaker Corey Johnson
- Carl Weisbrod, appointed by Mayor Bill De Blasio
Green Party of New York
For Immediate Release
June 13, 2019