League of Women Voters guide to propositions

This is the 2013 version. Go here for the 2014 guide.

voter guideThe following was provided by the League of Women Voters. See the original pamphlet here

Election Day 2013

General Election – November 5

Voting is an important part of being a United States citizen. Elected officials make important decisions that directly affect your life. Voting is your chance to choose the decision makers and tell them what you want. This Voters Guide will answer many of your questions about registering and voting. You may also consult the following:


For whom/what will I be voting on in the 2013 election?


In the Primary Election (September 10) and the General Election (November 5), voters in New York State (NYS) will elect local officials (e.g. your mayor, town supervisor, town council members, etc.) and possibly NYS Supreme Court Justices. When two or more candidates from the same political party seek election for the same office, voters registered in that party vote in the Primary Election to choose the candidate who will represent that party in the General Election. In the General Election, you will also be voting on statewide and possibly local ballot proposals. For more information, please visit www.vote411.org.

Who Can Vote?

To vote, you must:

  •  be a United States citizen
  • be 18 years old by the date of the election in which you want to vote
  •  live at your present address at least 30 days before the election
  •  not be in prison or on parole for a felony conviction, and
  •  not claim the right to vote elsewhere.

In New York State, before you can vote you need to register.


How do I register?

You can register to vote by mail or in person. Your registration is permanent but you must fill out a new Voter Registration Form if you move to a new address, change your name, or want to change your political party. If you change your political party enrollment, at least 25 days prior to election day, the change will not take effect until after the next general election; any changes to party enrollment within 25 days of an election will not take effect until after the next two general elections.



This Voter Guide will help you to evaluate the 6 ballot proposals that will be on the November 2013 ballot. The proposals are amendments to the New York State Constitution. Read about the amendments and decide whether you wish to vote for or against each one. Look carefully for them on the ballot; sometimes they are easy to miss. The League of Women Voters of New York State does not have positions for or against any of the proposed amendments on the ballot this year.



FORM OF SUBMISSION (how the proposal will be presented to you on the ballot): Authorizing Casino Gaming

The proposed amendment to section 9 of article 1 of the Constitution would allow the Legislature to authorize up to seven casinos in New York State for the legislated purposes of promoting job growth, increasing aid to schools, and permitting local governments to lower property taxes through revenues generated. Shall the amendment be approved?


Currently, the NYS Constitution prohibits all gambling except for (1) pari-mutuel wagering and horse racing; (2) State lotteries; (3) bingo conducted by certain charitable, non-profit and religious organizations; and (4) games of chance conducted by these same charitable, non-profit, and religious organizations. This proposal would amend the constitution to authorize casino gambling within the state, allowing for no more than seven casinos.


Proponents of the amendment argue that casino gambling has significant potential to be a major economic engine for New York State. They note that gaming already exists in the state, with five Native American owned casinos and nine racinos operating in the state, but that currently the state is not

allowed to gain its benefits. They say that the amendment would enable New York to benefit from the tourism, revenue, and good jobs that they believe casinos will provide. Proponents also argue that limiting casino gambling to no more than seven facilities guarantees there will not be an excessive proliferation of casinos within New York State.

Opponents of the amendment argue that expanding casino gambling in New York State could potentially increase gambling addiction, exploit those suffering from gambling addiction and their families, and have harmful effects on the communities in which the casinos are located. They say that even without including non-economic costs, the hidden costs of adding a casino to a region are two to three times more than the touted benefits. Some opponents also argue that increased crime is associated with the addition of a casino to a community.