Candidates, Community Leaders, Elected Officials, and Political Clubs Seek Suspension of Ballot Petitions from Governor Cuomo Citing Covid-19 Concerns

A coalition of candidates, community leaders, elected officials, and political clubs have sent a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo requesting that the petitioning requirement for the June primaries be suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The letter states: “On behalf of a coalition of Democratic Clubs, political candidates, grassroots advocacy groups, and community leaders throughout New York, we ask you to use the authority under the State’s Emergency Declaration to protect the health of all New Yorkers by waiving the 2021 designating petition signature requirements and instead allow any candidate who files a cover sheet with the appropriate Board of Elections (BOE) to be on the ballot. 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.”

Bronx candidates who signed onto the letter are:
Mino Lora – Candidate for New York City Council, District 11
Abigail Martin – Candidate for New York City Council, District 11
Dan Padernacht – Candidate for New York City Council, District 11
Marcos Sierra – Candidate for New York City Council, District 11;
        Democratic District Leader, 80th AD
Adolfo Abreu – Candidate for New York City Council, District 14
Pierina Sanchez – Candidate for New York City Council, District 14
Latchmi Devi Gopal – Candidate for New York City Council, District 15
John Sanchez – Candidate for New York City Council, District 15
Yves Filius – Candidate for New York City Council, District 16;
        Democratic District Leader, 77th AD
Darlene Jackson – Candidate for New York City Council, District 18

Yves Filius, Candidate for City Council – District 16

When asked why he supports waiving petitioning, Yves Filius, running in City Council District 16 says: ” As a proud Bronxite that enjoys engaging with neighbors throughout the political process in the 16th council (communities of Morrisania, Claremont, Concourse, Concourse Village, Highbridge, Morris Heights and Mt. Eden) I find it disturbing to have volunteers risking their lives to collect hundreds of signatures in a community where our neighbors have greatly suffered throughout the past year.”

Filius continued, “Over 2,000 residents in my district alone transitioned due to this debilitating pandemic. While grateful the Governor reduced the threshold to qualify, it does not reduce the exposure candidates and volunteers will have on contracting this virus. I stand with the over 300 candidates and advocate groups across our state to cancel the petition requirement for this years’ election cycle. Let’s not play politics with people’s lives.”

John Sanchez, Candidate for City Council – District 15

John Sanchez, running in City Council District 15, that has a special election on March 23, says: “I think NYC should cancel petitioning for the June primaries to keep people safe with hundreds of candidates petitioning and the chance of COVID cases increasing this winter. Texas has a good model where a candidate can pay a nominal filing fee or decide to petition which NY should look to going forward.”

Read the coalition’s letter below.

On-the-Urgent-Need-to-Cancel-Ballot-Petitioning-in-NYS-Jan-26-2021