Thursday, December 18, 2014


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Why the Ballot Will Look More Crowded in November

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Why the Ballot Will Look More Crowded in November
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- New York voters may only have a handful of options when it comes to their political candidates, but those candidates in many instances are appearing on multiple ballot lines this November, with their names appearing multiple times under different political parties.

Rochester-area state Senator Ted O'Brien, for instance, has created the Upstate Tax Relief line.

"It's not really a party issue, but I can tell you that we had very little difficulty in getting over 5,000 people to sign our petitions to create this independent line," said state Sen. O'Brien, D-Irondequoit.

State Senator Terry Gipson, another vulnerable Democratic lawmaker, is running on the Tax Relief Now line.

Candidates said the multiple ballot lines isn't meant to confuse voters, but give them a great chance to voice their opinions.

"I have one opponent in this race. People will find the appropriate place to vote for me irrespective of the number of lines, but this line is particularly important because it's a clear distinction between me and my opponent," O'Brien said.

New York has what's called fusion voting. It allows candidates to run on more than one political party.

Governor Andrew Cuomo, for instance, is the Working Families, Independence and, on Tuesday, was formally made the Women's Equality Party candidate - a line created to show support for his women's agenda.

"It means there will be a place on the ballot for women and women supporters to make a statement that our rights matter," said Former City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, D-New York City.

The Republican side has created a new Stop Common Core party highlighting their opposition to the controversial education standards.

"It is something that I feel strongly about. It is something that I am leading and it's a grassroots movement around this state," Astorino said.

New York already has flourishing minor parties like the state Conservative Party and the liberal Working Families Party. Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long said he doesn't feel threatened by the new ballot line created by Republicans.

"It's possible that some people who vote on that line won't vote on the Conservative Party line, but I don't see it as a threat," Long said.

Four years ago Carl Paladino created his own ballot line in the Taxpayers Party, but that did little to help him against Cuomo, who won in a landslide. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP