NY Voters Could See Crowded Ballot This Fall

ALBANY (AP) -

New York voters can expect new ballot lines this November next to the familiar Democratic and Republican parties as candidates seek to attract single-issue voters and get their names on the ballot two, three or even four times.

Tuesday is the deadline for groups hoping to create ballot lines to submit petitions to state election officials. New lines expected on the November ballot include the Women’s Equality Party and Stop Common Core.

New York election law allows candidates to run on multiple lines, with the number of votes for each line added together for a candidate’s total tally. In 2010, Cuomo ran on three lines. This year, he’s seeking to run on four: the Democratic Party, the Independence Party, the Working Families Party and the Women’s Equality Party, a new line created by his campaign this year.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino, the Westchester County executive, hopes to run on three lines: the Republican, Conservative and a line he hopes to add called Stop Common Core.

More ballot lines are likely. Michael Carey, an advocate for the disabled, wants to create another line for a new Life and Justice Party to oppose efforts by Cuomo to expand Roe v. Wade and cover up abuse at state facilities for disabled people.

The state’s rules also allow groups and single-issue candidates to get a ballot line if they collect enough signatures. That’s what happened in 2010, when Jimmy McMillan ran for governor on The Rent is Too … High Party line.

To get on the statewide ballot supporters of a new line must collect at least 15,000 signatures. Unless the petitions are obviously invalid — i.e., they contain blank pages or fail to specify a race — they are considered valid, unless an objection is filed.

Parties can keep their place on the ballot automatically if they receive 50,000 votes in a general election. If they fall below that threshold they’re off the ballot the next election.

“The Liberal Party, the Freedom Party, the Right to Life Party; there were other parties that have come and gone,” Conklin said.