New York City, NY USA June 2, 2022. NYC Council Member Kevin Riley attends a gun violence press conference at City Hall. (Shutterstock)
By: L.F. Bee
During the 2023 New York City cycle of elections for City Council, the primaries will take place on June 27, 2023, and the actual election will occur on November 7, 2023. Term limitations, death, or disqualification can cause vacancies. The last day for State & County party chairs to list the statement of party positions to be filled at the Primary Election occurred on February 14, 2023. This year’s 2023 City Council elections will serve two-year terms, with full four-year terms resuming after the 2025 New York City Council elections. The certification deadline is May 1, 2023. All dates are subject to change by the State Legislature. Votes will be cast based on ranked-choice voting for party nominees.
To become a city council member in New York City, you must meet specific eligibility requirements and follow the procedures for running for office. Here are the steps you must take:
Determine Whether or Not You Are Eligible: You must be a U.S. citizen to become a candidate for office in New York State. Candidates must be at least 18 years old and a New York City resident for at least one year before the election. In addition, they must be a registered voter in the district they wish to represent and have no criminal record. The residency requirement in New York State for a city council member is at least five years, and you must be a resident of your chosen district for 12 months immediately preceding the election. (In a redistricting year, the candidate may be a county resident for 12 months immediately preceding the election). You must also be a member of the political party you are running under unless you are running as an independent. Political parties may nominate a candidate who is not an enrolled political party member. Such parties must file a certificate of authorization.
Petitioning: To get on the ballot, you must collect signatures from your district’s registered voters. The number of City Council members’ signature requirements range from 450 to 900 signatures, depending on the district and political party you are running for and whether you are an independent candidate. You should collect more signatures than the minimum required to ensure enough valid signatures. You can obtain the petition form from the Board of Elections or your political party’s district leader. Petition forms must be printed on legal-size paper.
Notarize the petition: A notary public must notarize each signature on the petition form, which will verify that the person who signed the petition is a registered voter in your district. There must be a cover sheet if a petition has ten or more pages. In New York City and other counties where identification numbers are used, only one cover sheet is required, regardless of the number of volumes in the petition. In all other instances, a multi-volume petition requires a cover sheet for each volume.
Certification: Once you have reached your signature requirements, you must file a designated petition with the Board of Elections by the May 1 deadline to officially declare your candidacy. You can submit your petition to the Board of Elections in person or by mail. If the petition is valid, you will be certified. All certificates, petitions, and specifications of objections must be received on or before the last day to file on May 1, 2023. The New York City Board of Elections is open to receiving petitions, certificates, and objections until midnight on the last day to file. Identification numbers can be issued by the State and County Boards of Elections, without charge, to identify petition volumes.
Filing: You must file a designated petition with the Board of Elections by a specific deadline to officially declare your candidacy. You can submit your petition to the Board of Elections in person or by mail. If the petition is valid, you will be certified. These certificates, petitions, and objection specifications must be filed with the City of New York Board of Elections. They must be received on or before the last day to file. The New York City Board of Elections is such petitions, certificates, and objections until midnight on the last day to file. Identification numbers can be issued by the State and County Boards of Elections, without charge, to identify petition volumes.
Candidates must submit a Certificate of Acceptance for nominations made by independent nominating petitions or if they are named in a designating petition but are not enrolled members of that party. You must submit the petition form to the Board of Elections by the deadline specified on the form. You can bring the petition in person or by mail.
Campaigning: You must campaign to get your name and message out to voters. This includes fundraising, advertising, and participating in public events and debates. First, develop a campaign plan. Before you start campaigning, you need to have a plan that outlines your goals, target audience, message, budget, and timeline. This plan should include a strategy for reaching voters through various channels, such as door-to-door canvassing, phone banking, social media, and advertising. You will need a team of volunteers and staff to help you with different aspects of the campaign, such as fundraising, event planning, data management, and communications.
Raise funds: Campaigns need money for staff, events, advertising, and other expenses. You can raise funds through various sources, such as individual donations, political action committees (PACs), and political parties. New York State Election Law requires candidates and electoral committees to file statements disclosing information about contributions received and expenditures made in connection with an election.
All candidates running for city office must file disclosure statements with the Campaign Finance Board (CFB). You must disclose all contributions and expenditures in the disclosure statement due immediately after they are received/incurred using our web-based financial disclosure application, C-SMART. If contributions are not disclosed for the period they were received, they will not be eligible for matching funds.
You must communicate your message to voters through various channels, such as social media, flyers, yard signs, and advertising. You should also participate in public events, debates, and forums to engage with voters and answer their questions.
Election Day Machinery:
On election day, your campaign must focus on getting your supporters to the polls. This involves phone banking, canvassing, and providing transportation to polling stations.
Primary & General Elections
If multiple candidates run for the same party, a primary election is held to determine the party’s nominee. The following primary elections for New York City are scheduled for June 27, 2022.
Primaries typically determine the candidates running in the general election for various offices, including Mayor, Public Advocate, Comptroller, Borough President, and City Council Member.
It’s important to note that election dates are subject to change, so check the New York City Board of Elections website or other official sources often for updates and information on the election process.
Independent candidates will compete in the general election against candidates from other parties on November 7, 2023. If you win the general election, you will be sworn in as a city council member and begin serving your term.
It’s crucial to note that running for office can be a complex and challenging process. Ensure you follow all campaign finance and election laws and regulations, including filing timely reports, disclosing donors, and complying with spending limits. Seeking guidance from experienced campaign professionals or organizations is an excellent idea if you pursue this path.
For an initial consultation with our Campaign Consultants and Strategies team, please call 866-435-3286 or email email@example.com