New York Daily News Petition gathering makes no sense during COVID outbreak, say NYC Council Members by Shant Shahrigian
The coronavirus outbreak gives renewed importance to a bill ending the petition-gathering part of qualifying for local elections, says Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan).
Under a bill he introduced in 2016, the city would end the requirement for candidates for City Council and other offices to gather signatures of support in order to run.
Instead, Kallos says raising enough cash to qualify for matching funds from the city’s Campaign Finance Board should suffice.
“On the list of bad ideas to do during a pandemic is running around asking people to sign a piece of paper so that folks can get on the ballot,” Kallos told the Daily News on Monday.
“We’re going to have hundreds of people running for City Council in 2021,” he continued. “The idea that we’re going to have millions of people touching the same pens, signing the same petition boards — it’s looking for trouble, even if we do it safely.”