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ballot access materials

In New York State, candidates for elected office most often gain access to the general election ballot by obtaining political party ballot lines via various mechanisms.  The League of Women Voters Ballot Access study examined the role of political parties in the process of gaining access to the general election ballot.  Specifically, we explored the process of gaining party lines on the general ballot via (1) New York’s closed primary system, (2) fusion voting, and (3) Wilson Pakula certificates.   The study included discussion and comparison of the different forms of primary systems and other states’ experiences with fusion voting.  In addition, we will explored the possible effects New York’s ballot access process has on issues such as voter representation, corruption, voter turnout, and partisanship. At the conclusion of the study we reached the following consensus:

Approved April 2015
The consensus results for the Ballot Access study met the requirement of the number and geographic distribution of responses from local Leagues around the state. Of the 22 responses, two thirds must agree on a question to adopt the new position or change to the position. While 14 agreed that primaries should be open for non-affiliated voters, this does not meet the two thirds requirement. Two thirds (15) of the local Leagues did agree that fusion voting should continue in NYS whether or not Wilson Pakula is repealed.  The new position proposed is:
The League of Women Voters of New York State supports the continuation of Fusion Voting in New York State whether or not Wilson-Pakula is repealed.
The Local League’s ultimately decided to revisit this issue later


Consensus Materials
Glossary of relevant terms
Primary Systems
Fusion Voting and Wilson Pakula