By Rebecca Martin
(Click on the image to view the Ulster County Board of Elections Sample Ballot)
Attached is a copy of the 2018 General Election Ballot that includes Proposal Number One, “An Amendment Shall Section C-10 of the Ulster County Charter be amended to provide for the creation of an independent Redistricting Commission, designed to exclude political influence in revising county legislative districts, as proposed and unanimously approved by the Ulster County Charter Revision Commission.” Make sure on election day, that you turn the ballot over to find the referendum, located on the back of the ballot.
The Ulster County Board of elections has posted this abstract about the referendum:
“The purpose of this Ballot Question is to allow the voters of Ulster County to determine whether the Ulster County Charter should be amended to provide for the creation of an independent Redistricting Commission. The County is required to periodically reexamine the boundaries of its legislation districts based on changes in populations. The Ulster County Charter Revision Commission was convened pursuant to the Charter to create a method for doing so. It has proposed a method of reapportionment of the 23 Ulster County legislative districts, which is the subject of this Ballot Question. Under the proposal, a new redistricting Commission will be created every ten years following each census. The Commission will consist of seven members. Four members will be chosen by the majority and minority leaders of the County Legislature. The remaining three will be chosen by those appointees. The final legislative district map will not require approval by the County Legislature. The proposal prohibits elected officials from serving on the Commission and establishes principals to be used in creating districts. It is proposed after having been unanimously approved by the Ulster County Charter Revision Commissions.
If a majority voting on this Questions votes NO, the proposed Charter revision will not be adopted.
If a majority votes YES, the proposed Charter revision will be adopted.
Gerald Benjamin, from the Benjamin Center, and who played a meaningful role in the Ulster County Charter Commission from a decade or so ago recently blogged about the referendum.
“What most people in Ulster County may not know is that we are among the handful of places in the country that doesn’t have this problem. That’s because our county charter gives us a process for neutral non-partisan legislative redistricting. And it has worked. The districts for the current, closely divided county legislature were drawn through this non-partisan process. But in doing this the first time around we found out that there were some flaws in our design, and we needed to take further steps to be sure that it was more inclusive and effective while remaining non-partisan. “
READ “Your Most Important Vote This November Is Hidden on the Second Page of the Ballot”
KingstonCitizens.org supports Proposal Number One.
Please Vote on November 6th. Find your polling place by visiting HERE.