Filling a Vacancy in the Office of Lieutenant Governor: History and Hochul’s Opportunity

Kathy Hochul is the ninth New York lieutenant governor to become governor through the state constitutional process to fill a vacancy.* But she will be just the second to appoint a successor to the office she herself vacates. David Paterson was the first. This  provides her a unique opportunity to Read more…

Ruling Paves Way for Massive Voting Rights Change to School Board Elections Across New York

On May 25 in White Plains, U.S. District Court Judge Cathy Seibel ruled that the at-large system used for electing the nine members of the East Ramapo School Board denied the district’s Black and Latino voters effective choice in its elections, violating §2 of the Federal Voting Rights Act (VRA). Under an at-large system every voter votes to fill each board position, allowing a disciplined majority to control all seats. A majority of the East Ramapo district’s voting population is Hasidic Jews. The School Board has long been dominated by members recruited and endorsed by the leaders of this religious community and elected at-large through the use of block voting.

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