General Election - 11/08/2016**
President of the United States, U.S. Senate, U.S. House, State Assembly, State Senate, City Council Bronx 17, City Council Staten Island 51, Judge of the Civil Court - District, Judge of the Civil Court - County, and Juistice of the Supreme Court.
There are no ballot measures for New York.
The President is the elected head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander in-chief of the United States Armed Forces.
U.S. House of Representatives
Members of the House of Representatives have certain exclusive duties which include, initiating revenue bills, impeaching federal officials, and electing the president in case of an electoral tie.
Each state elects two senators whom serve upon the Senate. The major duties of members of the Senate include ratifying treaties, confirmation of Cabinet secretaries, federal judges, Supreme Court Justices, and other federal executive officials, and the trial of federal officials impeached by the House.
New York State Assembly
The New York State Assembly is the lower house of the New York State Legislature. The Assembly is composed of 150 members representing an equal number of districts. The Assembly has the power, with the Senate, to pass laws and act as a check on the executive power of the Governor. New York State Assembly members are elected to two-year terms.
New York State Senate
The New York Senate is the upper house of the New York State Legislature. The Senate is composed of 63 members representing an equal number of districts. The Senate has the power, with the Assembly, to pass laws and act as a check upon the executive power of the Governor. The Senate alone also has the power to confirm the Governor's appointment of non-elected state officials and court judges. New York State Senators are elected to two-year terms.
City Council Member
The City Council is the legislative body of the city, members come together to adopt local laws, amend the City Charter, enact local taxes, approve the budget, and oversee city agencies. Most importantly, they have the power to override mayoral vetoes.
Justices of the Supreme Court of New York State
The Supreme Court, a statewide court, generally hears cases outside the authority of the lower courts such as civil matters beyond $25,000, and divorce, separation and annulment proceedings, and (in New York City) criminal prosecutions of felonies. Supreme Court justices are elected to 14-year terms.
Justices of the Civil Court of the City of New York
The Civil Court of the City of New York has jurisdiction over civil cases involving amounts up to $25,000 and other civil matters referred to it by the Supreme Court. It includes a small claims part for informal dispositions of matters not exceeding $5,000 and a landlord and tenant/housing part for landlord-tenant matters of unlimited amounts and housing code violations. New York City Civil Court judges are elected to 10-year terms.
Q: What does a college have to do with the 2016 Presidential Election?
A: The Electoral College chooses the President and Vice President of the United States. According to the Constitution: “electors shall meet in their respective States and vote by ballot for President and Vice President.” (Amendment XII)” and the day on which they give their votes shall be the same throughout the United States.” (Article II). These quadrennial formal gatherings in each state capitol are known as a “college.”
Q: How are these electors chosen?
A: The Constitution allows each state legislature to decide how their electors are chosen. In some states they are selected by state legislators. In others they are elected by voters in Congressional districts, or elected by all the voters in the state. In New York the candidates and the state parties name the electors. They are usually party officials, elected officials, or leading citizens enrolled in the party. The political parties or independent candidates in each state submit a list of individuals pledged to their presidential candidate. (An elector cannot be a member of Congress or hold federal office). Serving as an elector is considered an honor, a reward for faithful service.
Q: Could we elect a President who is not from one of the two major parties?
A: It is possible but not likely, as the present winner-take-all system supports the presidential two-party system. Today the political party or independent candidate who wins the most popular votes within a state, even by only one vote, wins all of the electoral votes from that state. Maine and Nebraska have variations of proportional representation
Q: How will the electoral college work in 2016?
A: On November 8th, voters in each state will cast their ballots for the party state electors representing their choice for president and vice-president. Most state ballots say “Electors for” each set of candidates rather than listing the individual electors on each slate. On December 19th the winning slate of electors will meet in each state capitol and cast their votes. On January 6, 2017 the sealed votes from each state capitol will be opened before a joint session of Congress. The results are certified and the nation has a newly elected president.
Q: How many votes in the electoral college does it take to win the Presidential nomination?
A: The magic number is 270. Amajority of at least one more than half is required. The total number of votes in the Electoral College is 538 since there are 100 senators and 435 representatives plus three electors for the District of Columbia.
Q: How many electoral votes does New York State have?
A: New York has 29 electoral votes. Each state has electors equal to the number of its U.S. Senators (always 2) plus the number of its U.S. Representatives. This number may change after each census because the number of each state’s representatives in Congress is based on the census count taken every decade. As a result of the 2010 census the states with over 20 electoral votes are: CA-55, TX-38, FL-29, IL-20, and PA-20. The following each have the minimum three electors: Alaska, Delaware, North and South Dakota, Montana, Vermont, Wyoming, and the District of Columbia
Q: Must electors vote for their party's candidate?
A: Although most states have laws binding electors, this is not mandated by federal law. There have been cases of “defector electors” but such votes have never affected the final outcome of an election.
Q: If neither candidate gets at least 270 electoral votes, how are the President and Vice President chosen?
A: For the presidency: In January, the newly elected House of Representatives, voting by states—one state equals one vote—elects the president from among the three candidates who received the most electoral votes. A majority of votes (26) is required. (This happened in 1824 with the election of John Quincy Adams over Andrew Jackson, the candidate who had received the largest number of popular votes). For the vice presidency: The Senate picks from the top two vice presidential candidates. Each senator has one vote. A majority (51) of the whole Senate is needed for election. It is possible, particularly in a three-way race, that the House might select a president from one party, and the Senate could select the vice-president from another.
Q: Why did the framers set up such a complicated system?
A: Some delegates at the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia favored a direct election by the people while others believed that the president should be elected by the national legislature (Congress). The idea of election by an Electoral College was a compromise.
Q: Why don't we change the system?
A: Proposals for change have been made, especially in years when third parties or independent candidates received substantial popular votes. A constitutional amendment would be required to eliminate or change the system, but state legislatures may alter the process by which their electors are chosen. The League of Women Voters opposes the Electoral College and advocates a direct election by popular vote and supports the ‘National Popular Vote’, a proposal that has received the support of eleven states including New York State. The National Popular Vote proposal is that each state’s electors would vote for the candidate who won the national popular vote even if that candidate had not carried their state. This system might not require a constitutional amendment and could be effective if states having a total of 270 electoral votes approved it. Those in favor of the current Electoral College process say that it contributes to political stability by encouraging a two-party system of representation. Those in the “if it ain’t broke” school point out that every twentieth century president won the popular vote and Electoral College vote. However, in 2000 this was not the case. The Democratic candidate Al Gore won the popular vote and the Republican candidate George W. Bush won the electoral vote. On December 12, 2000 the United States Supreme Court ruled George W. Bush the winner.
* Only voters enrolled in a party having a primary may vote in a Primary Election
** All registered voters in the district having a Special Election or General Election may vote
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