Candidate Forums This is a year of major local elections. In October, American Association of University Women (AAUW) and the League will be working together to hold candidate forums in the City of Schenectady and Towns of Glenville, Niskayuna and Rotterdam for citizens to meet and hear candidates' views and positions on local issues. Many volunteers are needed to carry out this important community service. We need folks to help set up for the forums, greeters to meet the attendees and hand out the program and index cards for their questions, people to review these questions to avoid duplication and weed out inappropriate comments/questions such as personal attacks, and people to watch the clock so candidates stay within the time limits. Dates are being confirmed as the Bulletin goes to press---so if you might have an interest and willingness to help---contact Kay Ackerman for more information or the Candidate Forum Coordinator for a specific forum:
Election Result Collection Every year the League and AAUW partner to collect the election results at as many polling places in the County as possible. We are paid for these efforts of reporting results to a central registry that tabulate and report election results to area media. The proceeds from this effort are used to pay for the taping of candidate forums held in October which are broadcast on Schenectady's Public Access Station. The more polling places we cover, the more we receive in payments. So if you would be willing to be at an assigned polling place (could be your own!) at 9 PM on Election Night, November 3, 2015 to collect returns, please contact Kay Ackerman, 393-5000.
Candidate Forums Two candidate forums were held---one in conjunction with the Saratoga and Albany County Leagues for the House of Representatives candidates and one in collaboration with AAUW of Schenectady for the NYS Senate & Assembly Districts and candidates for the vacancies on the Schenectady City Council and County and City Court judges.
Voter Registration Last year we offered 18 voter registration opportunities at 12 sites. We registered 71 voters on site, handed out 38 registration forms and 8 absentee ballot forms. We concentrated on meal sites and food pantries but our most successful sites were Schenectady County Community College and Planned Parenthood---the only sites where we registered 10 or more voters. We also participated in National Voter Registration Day.
Poll Reporting The League and AAUW partnered to visit polling places in Schenectady County on election night to gather returns to report to the local media. In addition, this was a fundraiser for our efforts.
Kay Ackerman, Chair
Kay Ackerman, Voter Services Chair
1. All candidates for office who meet New York State election law requirements to be on the ballot and are involved in contested races are eligible to take part in candidate forums.
2. When more than one candidate for a state, county or local office is on the ballot and an invited candidate for state, county or local office does not respond or accept an invitation to the forum, or when a candidate accepts but does not appear at the forum, the candidate present at the forum may make a statement and answer audience submitted/League reviewed questions as long as this situation is made clear to the audience. The moderator will be permitted to announce that the absent person is a candidate for that office. No substitutes will be permitted to take the place of a candidate. The absent candidate will be allowed to submit an opening statement with the same time limits as the candidates present. The moderator would read the statement provided by the absent candidate.
3. No videotaping of candidate debates, or parts thereof, is permitted except by those previously authorized by the League of Women Voters to officially tape the event.
4. Candidates' literature will be allowed to be distributed on tables placed near the entrance to the forum location.
5. The League reserves the right to cancel the forum if circumstances warrant.
6. Candidates will be sent a copy of these policies when they are invited to participate in the forum. Any subsequent changes to the program format will be communicated to candidates prior to the program.
The Democratic and Republican primaries in New York State are different in important ways, but have similarities. Both are "closed" primaries; participation is limited to the voters who have registered in the party that is sponsoring the election. While delegates are not bound by any law to vote for any particular candidate at the party's national convention, both parties have "pledged" candidates who vote for the candidate to whom they are "pledged". Both parties also have "un-pledged" and/or "super" delegates, who are not committed to a particular candidate. A certain number of delegates in each party participate because they occupy a particular elective or party position. Before the primary, candidates submit to the board of elections a list of delegates from each congressional district that are committed to them. These delegates actually appear on the ballot in the Democratic primary, along with a statewide presidential democratic candidate, but do not appear on the ballot in the Republican primary.
Details of the Nominating Process
Democrats: "Proportional" Primary, 281 delegates at stake New York Democrats have a total of 281 delegates, 151 of whom are "pledged" and will be elected proportionally based on the results of the February 5th primary within each congressional district. In addition, 45 are automatic and/or chosen from party leaders. The remaining 85 delegates are selected at a state Democratic committee meeting in May.
The Democratic Party in New York always uses a proportional method for awarding delegates. The percentage of delegates each candidate is awarded (or the number of undecided delegates) is representative of the number of primary votes for the candidate.
The Democratic Party primary in New York is really a "dual primary." Candidates for president appear on the ballot and run against each other in a statewide primary, and delegates and alternate delegates run in each congressional district. Delegates and alternates are either committed to a presidential candidate or uncommitted, and males and females are equally represented among the delegate choices for a candidate.
Republicans: "Winner-take-all" Primary, 101 delegates at stake
The National Republican Party, unlike the Democratic Party, allows each state to decide whether to use a "winner-take-all method" or the "proportional" method. In the winner-take-all method, the candidate whom the majority of caucus participants or voters support receives all the delegates for the state. New York is a "winner take all" state.
In New York, the selection of delegates and alternate delegates to the Republican National Convention is determined by a statewide primary of candidates for the office of President. Unlike the Democratic primary ballot, the names of the delegates and alternate delegates do no appear. Based on the results of the February 5th presidential primary, 87 of the state's 101 Republican delegates are allocated to the presidential candidate with the most votes statewide. At a Republican state committee meeting, the remaining 14 unpledged delegates are selected from party leaders.
Glenville Town Board meets the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays at the Municipal Center, 7:30 p.m.
Rotterdam Town Board meets the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays at Assembly Hall, 7:30 p.m.
Niskayuna Town Board: Call 386-4592 for the schedule
The above is a web-site maintained by the SCHENECTADY DIGITAL HISTORY ARCHIVE, a service of the Schenectady County Public Library.