As the historic November 2020 election approaches, the presidential race may dominate the headlines, but it is far from the only important race for New York City residents. In fact, congressional representatives, state and local officials, and elected judges and prosecutors may have a more significant and direct impact on your life and community. Unfortunately, local election voter turnout has been as low as 20 percent in recent years, but you have the opportunity to change that. An engaged voting population is crucial for a functioning democracy, and for promoting representation and equality within the national, state, and local communities, and all New Yorkers have a responsibility to do their part.
Important Down-Ballot Races in New York
In 2020, some of the important down-ballot elections for New Yorkers include:
- All 27 of New York’s seats in the U.S. House of Representatives: In fact, every seat in the U.S. House is up for grabs, and several New York races are expected to be significant battlegrounds.
- All 63 seats in the New York State Senate and 150 seats in the New York State Assembly: The results of these state legislature elections will likely have an impact on redistricting after the 2020 census, which can influence federal funding allocations and elections throughout the next decade.
- Judges in the New York State Supreme Court, County Courts, and District Courts: The elections of prosecutors and judges can impact criminal and civil courtroom proceedings and fair treatment under the law for people in local New York communities.
- School board representatives: Elected school board officials play an important role in promoting and ensuring quality education for New York’s youth and future leaders.
How to Be Educated About Down-Ballot Races
Just as important as voting is being an informed voter, and there are many ways for you to learn more about the issues at stake in the 2020 election. Here are some tips for educating yourself:
- Pay attention to the issues that impact you. Seek information from local news sources, mailers, and other members of your community to learn more about the issues that are prevalent in your area and those that may impact you and your family. Keep those issues in mind as you research the down-ballot election races.
- Use online resources. Many candidates in down-ballot elections have campaign websites that you can visit to learn about their platforms and experience, as well as social media accounts or mailing lists that you can follow for updates. The website Vote NYC is also a great resource to find out who will be on your local ballot, and Ballotpedia provides a wealth of information on congressional elections and candidates.
- Attend virtual town halls: With the COVID-19 pandemic making it difficult for candidates to host in-person events, many are turning to virtual town halls. Attending a town hall allows you to hear directly from the candidate and ask questions about the issues that matter to you.
Contact a New York City Attorney
At Joey Jackson Law, PLLC, we are passionate advocates for the democratic process, and we are happy to answer your questions about voting rights and the impact legislative and judicial elections may have on your community. Contact us today at 833-563-9522 to speak with a skilled Manhattan lawyer who is committed to educating New Yorkers about the importance of voting, especially in 2020.