Tuesday’s Headlines: Count the Votes Edition

Exciting news out of southern Brooklyn: The Board of Elections will start counting absentee ballots to figure out if Democrat Andrew Gounardes actually beat eight-term incumbent and street safety pariah Marty Golden. Election Day ended with Gounardes up by 1,100-plus votes, but there are about 1,400 absentee ballots to be counted. We’ll be on hand to make sure all those signatures collected from old people at senior centers match up to the buff cards on file. (Update: This will be Thursday, we are told.)

And here’s the rest of the news:

  • Politico revealed that there’s talk of getting rid of the city Public Advocate, and from our perspective, it’s a debate worth having. On the one hand, the position seems to do nothing for the biggest group of suffering New Yorkers: commuters. On the other hand, the main critics of the office —Kalman Yeger, Ritchie Torres, Bob Holden, Ruben Diaz Sr., and Mark Gjonaj — are mostly atrocious on Streetsblog issues. Supporters defended the office, with would-be advocate, Assembly Member Danny O’Donnell, pointing out that its “potential … in promoting progressive legislation and uncovering corruption is massive” and that a strong advocate is “many politicians’ nightmare.” Meanwhile, Council Member Brad Lander says the office should remain as a counter-weight to the mayor — but voter interest could be spurred with ranked choice balloting. The Daily News and amNY also had coverage.
  • Got any smoke for that back-room deal? Crain’s broke a big story that Gov. Cuomo will do an end-around the City Council in making sure Amazon’s HQ2 gets all the strawberries on its Long Island City shortcake. Local State Senator Michael Gianaris spoke for us all when he told Gothamist that no one is providing any information on the potential blockbuster deal (that’s blockbuster in the literal, not figurative, sense). More info is expected today as the deal is officially announced, the Wall Street Journal reports. The neighborhood is not ready, the paper’s Paul Berger reported.
  • Then again, the subway system might just be getting better. (NY1)
  • The Daily News and the Post offered more details about the too-short life of Niklas Ahern, the 29-year-old man killed by a hit-and-run driver in Queens on Sunday.
  • Should Uber and Lyft be forced to identify drivers accused of crimes? Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez and others think so (doesn’t everyone?). (NY Post)
  • Several outlets covered the TransitCenter’s presser on Monday about subway elevators. (NYDN, amNY, NY1)
  • And, finally, of course people are going to have sex in self-driving cars. Here’s hoping both the cars and the sex are safe. (NY Post)
  • ortcutt

    It’s crazy that we are still using signature matching as a way of confirming identity. I get the yips when I sign my name and no two of my signatures bear a superficial resemblance to each other.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “There are about 1,400 absentee ballots to be counted.”

    Retired cops in Florida? I wonder what a comparison between people claiming a resident property tax reduction in that state and voting absentee in New York would show.

    The day the public advocate started advocating for the public — instead of advocating for higher taxes as a way of avoiding diminished public services because those on the inside aren’t getting enough — is the day the office would be eliminated.

  • Maggie

    Any and every taxpayer incentive that Gov Cuomo is steering to Amazon should be publicly known. And every standard community oversight procedure deserves to stand. There is simply no reason why Amazon should not run through the same process that everything else lives by.

    Given that the Governor is widely assumed to be positioning himself to run for president in 2020, the prospects of quid pro quos from CEO Jeff Bezos and REBNY types in exchange for Cuomo jamming this through are serious. Full disclosures, without his usual defensive-guy-in-a-1932-car schtick, are going to be his best friend.

  • Larry Littlefield

    You are right about that. Bad things happen to ordinary people when NYC mayors and NY State governors decide to run for higher office. All those pension increases. Soaring debts. Tax giveaways. Real estate giveaways

    Especially if the cost is deferred, until they expect to be gone.

    We are much worse off today, right at this moment, because of deals cut by “President” Lindsay, “President” Rockefeller, “President” Pataki, “Senator” Giuliani, “Governor” McCall, “President” Spitzer and “President” Bloomberg. All covered up by the likes of “Mayor” Liu and “Mayor” Stringer.

    “President” Chrystie wasn’t good for New Jersey either.

  • 1ifbyrain2ifbytrain

    “all those signatures collected from old people at senior centers”

    prejudice or discrimination on the basis of a person’s age.

  • Joe R.

    Cuomo in 2020 = four more years of Trump. I really hope the Democrats field someone better.

  • walks bikes drives

    Well, we could require state issued IDs. While we are at it, let’s close all the issuing agencies in minority majority areas and raise the cost of these IDs. Since only citizens are allowed to vote, in order to get such an ID that can be used for voting purposes, we should require two supporting documents proving citizenship, such as a passport and a notorized original birth cirtificate, or a notorized original birth certificate and a passport. Your choice. Because, you know, fraud is just everywhere. Such as the 2,868,687 votes cast by illegal immigrants during the 2016 election for president.

  • walks bikes drives

    If I were a voter who split my time in NY and Florida, I would want my vote to be counted in Florida rather than NY. Most votes in NY are meaningless, whether for a Republican or a Democrat. Florida, as a consistent swing state, would make my vote mean more.

  • ortcutt

    I’m not arguing that we require state-issued IDs. I’m not sure how that would even work for absentee ballots anyway. Why can’t people just certify that they are who they say they are rather than rely on a horde of amateur graphologists to determine whether signatures match?

  • Larry Littlefield

    The choices keep getting worse. There is nobody who isn’t terrible near the top of either major party.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Florida isn’t going to increase their New York pension benefits.

    And they couldn’t have voted in Florida to stop New York from having a constitutional convention, which might have reconsidered the exemption of public employee pension income from state and local income taxes.

    If I had ideological concerns about the future of the country, yes, I’d vote in Florida. Perhaps they vote there for President, and here for incumbent state legislators.

  • HamTech87

    Every time I sign the book at the poll, I marvel at how much my signature has changed from when I first registered years ago.