Pols back new runoff vote plan

New York Daily News - - NEWS - BY ERIN DURKIN Erin Durkin

CITY POLS — in­clud­ing three po­ten­tial 2021 may­oral con­tenders — called Tues­day for New York to switch to in­stant runoff vot­ing in time for the next elec­tion.

Pub­lic Ad­vo­cate Leti­tia James, Con­troller Scott Stringer and Brook­lyn Bor­ough Pres­i­dent Eric Adams were among the of­fi­cials push­ing for the new vot­ing sys­tem at a City Hall press con­fer­ence.

They say a char­ter re­vi­sion com­mis­sion formed by Mayor de Blasio should pro­pose in­stant runoff vot­ing, which would then go up for a ref­er­en­dum this fall.

Un­der the sys­tem, which could be used in city pri­maries and spe­cial elec­tions, vot­ers rank can­di­dates in or­der of pref­er­ence in­stead of cast­ing a vote for just one per­son. If no can­di­date gets a ma­jor­ity of the vote, ev­ery­one but the top two voteget­ters is elim­i­nated. The votes for the elim­i­nated can­di­dates are re­dis­tributed to the runoff fi­nal­ist ranked high­est on each bal­lot.

Cur­rently, phys­i­cal runoff elec­tions are held in pri­maries if no can­di­date gets 40% of the vote. Runoffs typ­i­cally gen­er­ate very low turnout.

“It’s hard enough to get peo­ple to the polls once, let alone a sec­ond time,” said James, who was elected af­ter a runoff in 2013 in which only about 300,000 peo­ple voted — but tax­pay­ers paid $10 mil­lion to $13 mil­lion.

Char­ter com­mis­sion spokesman Matt Ge­wolb did not an­swer whether the panel would con­sider in­stant runoff vot­ing, but he said it “wel­comes ideas from all New York­ers on how to im­prove city govern­ment and the elec­toral process.” AN AP­PEALS COURT has shot down Mayor de Blasio’s at­tempt to keep se­cret emails be­tween City Hall and out­side ad­vis­ers dubbed “agents of the city.”

The court ruled de Blasio must hand over the emails af­ter a law­suit by NY1 and other news or­ga­ni­za­tions seek­ing their dis­clo­sure un­der the state’s Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion Law.

A lower court had ruled the same way, but Hiz­zoner ap­pealed.

De Blasio was seek­ing to shield com­mu­ni­ca­tions with con­sul­tants such as Jonathan Rosen and his firm Ber­linRosen, who were hired by the mayor’s now-de­funct and scan­dal-scarred po­lit­i­cal non­profit the Cam­paign for One New York.

The court or­dered City Hall to re­lease any com­mu­ni­ca­tions it con­tin­ues to with­hold, and to pay at­tor­neys’ fees for the plain­tiffs.

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