From the Queens Chronicle:
In just under one week, Jacobs and about 10 of his volunteers had collected more than 1,600 signatures. After being told by the Queens Democrats that there wasn’t time to interview him to determine whether he could be a viable candidate for the party as they instead chose Michael Simanowitz, a former aide to Mayersohn, Jacobs was ecstatic that he might still be able to make a bid for the seat that represents the neighborhood where he has lived nearly his entire life.
Then, however, the city Board of Elections ruled last week that Jacobs’ signatures were invalid because he had not written the number of the Assembly district on top of each page of signatures.
“I followed the New York laws and rules regarding the Independence nomination, and I did everything that the petition form from the Board of Elections said to do,” Jacobs said. “Nowhere on the sample form did it say I had to have the Assembly district number on top of every single page. It’s upsetting.”
For a number of good government groups across the state, Jacobs’ situation is representative of New York’s tedious election laws, which they argue seriously deter people other than the party favorites from running for office.
“The function of all these convoluted rules is to protect the established parties from insurgent parties and to protect the established office holders from insurgents,” said Michael Krasner, a political science professor at Queens College. “The fact that you can make a good living as an election lawyer, someone who’s an expert in minutiae in laws, shows how difficult it is for someone without that expertise to mount a challenge to a candidate from one of the major parties.”
While Gov. Cuomo has said he hopes to make election reform a priority next year, Krasner and others have expressed skepticism that legislators would want to change the current system that often gives them a great deal of stability.