Voter Guide asks New York candidates about Census reform

by Peter Wagner, September 8, 2006

A new website is asking candidates for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, and Comptroller in New York for their position on census reform and 5 other critical issues. After this Tuesday’s primary, the website,, will expand to include a number of State Senate and State Assembly races around New York State.

The website provides information about each elected office and provides short answers from the candidates to these 6 questions of importance to the communities that are typically underrepresented at the polls:

  1. What are your views on Election Day registration in New York State?
  2. What are your views on people in prison or on parole voting in New York State?
  3. What are your views on the U.S. Census Bureau’s method of assigning residence to incarcerated people?
  4. What are your views on the Rockefeller Drug Laws?
  5. How should the state or federal government address reentry for people who have completed their sentences and are seeking employment and/or housing?
  6. What are your views on this contract between Verizon/MCI and the New York State Department of Correctional Services?

Better Ballots was launched by the Voter Enfranchisement Project in partnership with the Drop the Rock Coalition, the New York Campaign for Telephone Justice, and the Prison Policy Initiative in order to increase civic participation, especially in communities that are disproportionately impacted by the criminal justice system.

“I believe that infrequent voters and new voters are more likely to vote when they learn where candidates stand on issues such as Election Day Registration, the Rockefeller Drug Laws, and the exclusive contract between Verizon/MCI and the New York State Department of Correctional Services,” said project director Maggie Williams.

Better Ballots is valuable because it helps voters determine who is running for which positions and learn where the candidates stand on critical issues. Centralizing this information in one place empowers New York voters and makes our democracy more accountable to all communities,” she continued.

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