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Vote suppression in corrupt NY State

I’ll be out of town on election day so I thought I should get an absentee ballot. It’s not so easy:

OK, so I download the form and print it out. Now I have to mail it to the county board of elections. Where exactly is that? I find the little link . . . here it is:

Jeez. They don’t make it easy. Not quite vote suppression (yes, the above title was an exaggeration), but they’re not exactly encouraging us to vote, either.

To put it another way, here’s another webpage, also run by New York State:

It appears that the people who run our state government care more—a lot more—about getting its residents to blow their savings on mindless gambling, than on expressing their views at the ballot box.

It’s almost as if the people in power like the system that got them in power, and don’t want a bunch of pesky voters out there rocking the boat.

P.S. It seems that Kansas is worse.


  1. hmmmm says:

    Just a thought, but perhaps it’s the other way around. Perhaps the residents of NY care a lot more about the lottery than they do voting, and the advertising is a reflection thereof.
    Don’t have any idea how good these numbers are (no fact checking done here; this is just a lazy blog reply), but New York was way up the list of highest $ per capita spent on lottery tickets according to this report.

  2. Clyde Schechter says:

    One of many reasons I got sick of NYC and moved to California.

    In California, you can register to vote when you get your driver’s license, and as part of that registration process, you can check a box that says you want to receive mail-in ballots on a permanent basis–which I did, since I usually have to travel on business in early November. I vote every year from the comfort of my home, at the cost of a postage stamp.

    And, no, it’s not the tax hell that some people would have you believe. Yes the state income tax is high, but the property taxes are actually pretty low, and in most of the state there are no city or local income taxes. Sales tax varies locally but in most of the state it is lower than in NYC. So when I add it up I save a lot of tax money compared to living in NYC, too.

  3. Bill Jefferys says:

    Man! What a pain!

    We just hopped in the car, took a 10 minute trip, said “Hi!” to the town clerk who gave us all ballots. Marked them there, dropped them in the ballot box, schmoozed a bit with the town clerk and went home. Probably took less time than you did, and we’re done!

    Move to Vermont :)

  4. I mailed in the form for my NY absentee ballot in the beginning of August, during a short visit to NYC. Glad I did it then; if I had waited much longer, I wouldn’t have received the ballot in time to vote.

  5. A.G.McDowell says:

    The UK version of absentee ballots, known here as a postal vote, has expanded greatly in the past few elections. Unfortunately there have also been plausible allegations of abuse in some areas – one from a very politically correct paper is at (“The case, which a high court judge famously said would have “shamed a banana republic”, led to a reform of the postal voting system being rushed through by the government ahead of this week’s polls.”) Since a postal vote removes all of the usual protections against being pressured to vote in a particular way and against buying votes, I don’t think it should be routine to get a postal vote, although simply making it awkward is not defensible, especially as making it awkward penalizes the few people who have a genuine need for a postal vote.

  6. Dalton says:

    I don’t know about mindless gambling. One can have a mind about it. At 1.6 billion, and a cash option of something like 900 million, the aftertax winnings of the cash option are pretty damned close to the expected value. The odds are something like 1 in 300 million. If you figure 600 million in a cash jackpot, why not pay $2?

    Even if we’re farther away from the expected value, the rental value of fantasy is worth at least a dollar to me. As for the other dollar, the fact that for the most part it’s a voluntary tax that pays some small amount to things I care about (like public schools) makes it more than worth the price of entry. Of course I won’t win, but I like to imagine I at least paid for a pencil.

    You could also just move Washington. It’s 100% vote-by-mail. Postage paid too! Plus the fishing is better.

    Of course, fishing is also a pretty poor hobby for a statistician. The expected value of a fishing outing is way, way less than the cost of a license, tackle, bait, gas, opportunity cost etc. It’s much more efficient to simply go to the supermarket (where you can also pick up a lotto ticket). Yet, I keep going to the river. My prior is clearly flawed, and my posterior never updates.

    Oh well, at least my ballot is waiting for me in the PO Box.

  7. Joshua Pritikin says:

    At least you can freely choose to vote absentee. In Virginia, you can only vote absentee if you are in particular situations like “Student attending college or university outside of locality of residence in Virginia”. Check out the “Reason Codes” here,

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