As Ken Auletta notes in his interview with Michael Bloomberg (who has a countdown clock in his office, by the way) the mayoral race will likely be decided in the primaries. "In New York City, a Republican candidate has only a slim chance of becoming mayor, as registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by about seven to one," noting that previously, Bloomberg won three elections by stressing the city's need to rebound after both 9/11 and the 2008 recession, and Giuliani who won twice with his campaign against crime. However, the 2013 mayoral candidates are lacking what Auletta calls a "torch issue," a complication to light the paths of their campaigns. As a result, "Bloomberg's successor most likely will be chosen by between 500,000 and 700,000 voters, those who pick the winner of the Democratic primary," or about 10% of the city's five million eligible voters. So, for the first time in almost a quarter of a century, New York will not have a general election. This is huge, but likely not getting the attention it deserves from voters because of the stigma behind its "primary" name.
So because this is such an important election, and because you should be out voting tomorrow, here's a quick guide to make an informed decision.
Where & When To Vote
The polls open as early as 6 a.m. tomorrow and remain open until 9 p.m., so plan that spin class accordingly. Since you can vote only in your designated polling place, you should double check the location you've been assigned. The Board of Elections has created a system to easily locate where you should be — you can search your address on the BOE's poll site address locator, call the Voter Phone Bank at 866-VOTE-NYC, or even e-mail your complete address to firstname.lastname@example.org, and the BOE will respond with your polling location.
A Guide To The Candidates
You're busy. We get it. But the primary isn't like March Madness — you can't just pick the person with the coolest-sounding name. If you're heading to the polls, you should be making an informed decision. Here are a few resources you can use to prepare yourself:
The New York Times: "Where The Mayoral Candidates Stand On Key Issues"
Rather than listing out each candidate and their entire agenda, this guide allows you to navigate the campaigns by the issues that really matter to you. It's organized by topics, like "Name one step you would take upon assuming office to lower the city's unemployment rate and improve New Yorkers' prospects for full-time jobs," or "How would you change, or would you eliminate, the Police Department's stop, question, and frisk practice?"
New York Daily News: "Your Guide To New York City's Mayoral Hopefuls On The Day Of The Primary Showdown."
A quick-and-dirty way to see what's happening in the mayoral race. For each candidate, NY Daily News asks the basics: Who is (s)he?; Big Idea?; What's (s)he like?; and Star Power.
The Awl: Who's Endorsing Whom?
The Awl's guide offers a brief bio on each candidate, but gets to the heart of the matter and lets you know which candidates have the support of specific groups and organizations. This may help with your decision, since the interests of certain groups would align with your own.
The Metro: "Voter Guide To NYC Mayoral Candidates"
A guide totally focused on where each candidate stands on several key issues.
Don't forget to check back on R29 tomorrow for live updates on the polls.