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: news@queenspost.com
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.

Recent News

Southeast Queens man arraigned on weapons charges after cops search his ‘ghost car’ near LaGuardia Airport: DA

A Hollis man was criminally charged after police discovered a cache of weapons in his vehicle during a traffic stop. He was pulled over for driving a “ghost car” with obscured license plates in East Elmhurst near LaGuardia Airport during the early morning hours of June 12.

Judd Sanson, 27, of Jamaica Avenue, was ordered held without bail after he was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on Thursday afternoon on a criminal complaint charging him with multiple counts of weapons possession, unlawful possession of pistol or revolver ammunition, and unlawful use of a police uniform or emblem and other crimes after the arsenal was found in his SUV.

‘Ghost car’ driver arrested in East Elmhurst after traffic stop reveals weapons, threatening note: NYPD

Police from the 110th Precinct in Elmhurst discovered an arsenal of weapons in a ghost car they pulled over on Ditmars Boulevard and 86th Street in East Elmhurst early Wednesday morning.

NYPD Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey held a press briefing at the 110th Precinct on Wednesday afternoon to discuss what the sergeant and three officers from the 110th Precinct public safety team found when they pulled over a black Ford Explorer at around 1:30 a.m. because it had blacked-out license plates.

Henry ‘Hank’ Krumholz, stalwart pioneer of Queens LGBTQ Pride, dies at 73

Henry “Hank” Krumholz, a pioneering gay rights activist in Queens, passed away on Sunday in his Flushing apartment at the age of 73.

Krumholz played a crucial role in the establishment and success of the Queens LGBTQ Pride Parade, which is held annually in Jackson Heights. He joined the parade’s sponsoring organization right after its inaugural event in 1993 and continued his involvement for decades. His passing came just a week after this year’s parade on June 2, marking its 31st anniversary.