Have you made any plans to leave the city in the near future? Many of us cannot wait to get away this summer. Whether that means renting a bungalow upstate, planning a family vacation, or even taking short jaunts on the weekends, the promise of leisure travel beckons to us all. The past year and a half have felt more challenging than at any other period I can recall in my lifetime. People are tired of being cooped up for long periods. We all crave a breath of fresh air, peace and quiet, friendly faces, excited children, and the opportunity to kick back and recharge. How good does that sound to you?
Before you book your plans, I want you to consider the conditions to which we will all be returning. Every single elected position in the New York City government is up for grabs in the primary election on June 22. This includes the mayor, the borough president, all 51 city council members, the public advocate, and comptroller. There is only one incumbent on our ballot, which means anything is possible. We have a real shot at having our collective voice heard in local politics. Besides which, whoever wins the primary on June 22 will likely win the general election. It’s less about whom you vote for and more about showing up to the polls as a community. When the Jewish community votes, whoever is eventually elected pays more attention to our needs.
There is a relatively new procedure at the polls. It is called “ranked- choice voting” (RCV). As it was explained at a recent community board meeting, voters are now allowed to rank up to five candidates in order of their preference.
This is how it works:
1) Pick your first-choice candidate and completely fill in the oval next to their name under the “1st” column.
2) If you have a second-choice candidate, fill in the oval next to their name under the column labeled “2nd.”
3) Continue doing this for up to five candidates, choosing a different rank for each one.
4) You can still choose to vote for only one candidate, if you prefer. Ranking other candidates does not affect your first choice.
5) Do not rank a candidate more than once. If you do, only your top ranking for them will count.
6) Do not give multiple candidates the same ranking. If you choose more than one candidate as your first choice, your ballot will not be valid.
If a candidate wins over 50% of the first-choice votes, they win. If nobody wins immediately, whoever received the fewest first choice votes is eliminated. If your first-choice candidate is eliminated, your second-choice candidate receives your vote. Rounds continue in this manner until there are only two candidates left. Whoever has the most votes at the end wins.
New York offers early voting, from June 12 – 20 at limited early voting sites. We can also vote by mail, if we request a ballot online, by email, mail, or fax by June 15. We can also show up at the polls on June 22 from 6 A.M until 9 P.M. It’s never been easier to fulfill our civic responsibility.
With early voting and ranked choice voting, we can finally fulfill the old joke, “Vote early, and often.” Seriously though, I have written about this topic several times in these pages. Frum voting has barely changed. What else can I say or do to encourage people to vote? How about a free dinner? Under the direction of Shea Rubenstein, the JCCMP is sponsoring a giveaway of dinner for two at T-Fusion Steakhouse at 3223 Quentin Road. To enter, post a selfie on Instagram with your Vote NYC sticker, use hashtags #jccmp and #votemarinepark. Follow @jccmp and tag three of your friends. Must be a registered NYC voter to enter. Brooklyn, NY residents only. One entry maximum per person. This offer is not endorsed, sponsored, administered, nor associated with Instagram nor by any candidate. Giveaway will be closed at 11:59 P.M. EDT June 23, 2021. Winner will be announced June 24, 2021 by 5:00 P.M.
Regardless of who wins the dinner, we all win when we all vote.