You are reading

More Than a Dozen Queens Council Candidates Seek to Cancel Petitioning Due to COVID

Election envelopes with face masks Photo: Unsplash @tiffanytertipes

Feb. 1, 2021 By Christina Santucci

More than two dozen political candidates from Queens say that gathering signatures to get on the ballot is too dangerous during the pandemic and want city and state officials to suspend the requirement.

The group penned a letter Jan. 27 that was sent to the governor, the mayor and other Democratic leaders calling on them to cancel petitioning requirements needed for candidates to get on the ballot.

The letter was signed by more than 100 candidates running for office in the city as well as grassroots advocacy groups.

“Collecting signatures for a successful designating petition creates an unacceptable risk of exposure to COVID-19 for candidates, their staff and volunteers, and political club members through what are essentially hundreds of thousands of mandated, non-socially distanced interactions,” the letter reads.

The letter says that the signature requirement needs to be cancelled to ensure public safety.

“Under normal circumstances, we would not advocate for such a radical change as doing away with petitioning; collecting valid signatures for designating petitions is an important part of protecting the integrity of our elections,” the letter reads.

The letter was sent a day before the state moved to lower the number of required signatures, but those behind the #SafetyoverSignatures push say it’s still not enough.

“Exposure is exposure is exposure,” said Erica Vladimer, who helped bring the candidates together to sign the letter. “What the legislature passed and the governor signed still requires people to put themselves and anyone they come in contact with at risk.”

A bill signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo Thursday has reduced the number of signatures required by 70 percent.

The number of signatures required to get on the ballot varies by office but is less for local races. Candidates for City Council now need 270 signatures.

The bill also adjusted the political calendar so that gathering signatures on designating petitions begins March 2 – instead of Feb. 23 – and petition filing will take place from March 22 to 25 instead of March 29 to April 1.

Organizers of the push to cancel signature requirements said their letter had 260 supporters when it was sent Wednesday. An estimated 350 individuals and organizations had signed onto the request as of Sunday, Vladimir said.

Among the signatories of the letter are Council Member Jimmy Van Brammer, who is running for Queens borough president, and western Queens Council candidates Tiffany Cabán, Evie Hantzopoulos, Jaslin Kaur, Shekar Krishnan, Alfonzo Quiroz, and Carolyn Tran.

“With hundreds of candidates collecting thousands of signatures, it’s a contact tracing nightmare that puts the public at high risk at a time when public health experts are telling us to stay home. The only responsible thing to do is cancel petitioning,” Van Bramer said in a statement Thursday.

Candidates Want to Cancel Petitioning by Queens Post on Scribd

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

Porn actor Ron Jeremy, who grew up in Bayside, found unable to stand trial for rape

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles judge on Tuesday, Jan. 17, declared that porn performer Ron Jeremy is mentally incompetent to stand trial on dozens of rape and sexual assault counts.

Superior Court Judge Ronald S. Harris said in a hearing that after reviewing reports from both prosecutors and Jeremy’s defense that he is in “incurable neurocognitive decline” from which he is unlikely to recover.