What’s on your ballot?

November voter ballot propositions explained

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In the upcoming Nov. 2 election, Suffolk County voters will be asked to vote on four different ballot propositions. 

Prop 1: Amending the Apportionment and Redistricting Process

The proposal will amend the portions of Article III of the New York Constitution that relate to the way district lines for congressional and state legislative offices are determined.

What does that mean?

The proposal would amend the New York Constitution that relate to the way district lines for congressional and state legislative offices are determined.

If voted yes, the amendment would repeal portions of the state constitution adopted by voters in 2014 to re-create a redistricting commission.

The amendment would also freeze the number of state senators at the current number, 63. Previously, the number of senators was originally set at 50 and was increased over time.

More importantly, it would require state assembly and senate lines be based on the population of the state. It would revise the procedure for drawing and approving congressional and legislative districts and would alter the redistricting.

“This is a good government initiative that ensures that New York has a fair and constitutional redistricting process regardless of Washington’s failures,” said Suffolk County Democratic Committee chairman Rich Schaffer. “Past redistricting processes have seen abuses including changing the number of Senate seats for partisan advantage.  This would eliminate the ability of Albany politicians to do that.”

Prop 2: Right to Clean Air, Clean Water, and a Healthful Environment

The proposed amendment to Article I of the New York Constitution would establish the right of each person to clean air and water and a healthful environment. Shall the proposed amendment be approved?

What does it mean?

The proposal would protect public health and the environment by adding the right of each person to clean air and water and a healthful environment to the Bill of Rights in Article I of the New York Constitution.

Prop 3: Eliminating 10-Day-Advance Voter Registration Requirement

Section 5 of Article II of the New York Constitution now requires that a citizen be registered to vote at least 10 days before an election. The proposed amendment would delete that requirement. If this amendment is adopted, the legislature will be authorized to enact laws permitting a citizen to register to vote less than 10 days before the election.

What does it mean?

The constitution currently requires that a citizen be registered to vote at least 10 days before an election. The proposed amendment would delete that requirement. If adopted, the legislature will be authorized to enact laws permitting a citizen to register to vote less than 10 days before the election.

Prop 4: Authorizing No-Excuse Absentee Ballot Voting

The proposed amendment would delete from the current provision on absentee ballots the requirement that an absentee voter must be unable to appear at the polls by reason of absence from the county or illness or physical disability. Shall the proposed amendment be approved?

What does it mean?

The purpose of the proposal is to eliminate the requirement that a voter provide a reason for voting by absentee ballot. The proposed amendment would do so by deleting the requirement currently in the Constitution that restricts absentee voting to people under one of two specific circumstances: those who expect to be absent from the county of their residence, or from New York City for residents of that city, on Election Day, and those who are unable to appear at their polling place because of illness or physical disability.

“The proposals on this year’s ballot are significant and will have profound impacts on our state,” said Sen. Alexis Weik. “I have serious concerns with these proposals, and I encourage every voter do their due diligence on each proposal before getting to the ballot box to make an informed decision.”

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