Brooklyn Boro

Your guide to Brooklyn’s 2019 general elections

October 29, 2019 Paula Katinas
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For a so-called “off-year” election, this year’s ballot has plenty for voters to consider. Here’s a guide to what you’ll find when you show up at your polling place to cast your ballot.

Public advocate

One high-profile race this election cycle is the contest for New York City Public Advocate. Incumbent Jumaane Williams, a Democrat, is running for re-election. His two opponents are Staten Island Councilmember Joseph Borelli, who is running on both the Republican and Conservative party lines, and David Balkind, president of the nonprofit Sahana Software Foundation, who is running on the Libertarian party line.

45th City Council District

Voters in Brooklyn’s 45th Council District will go to the polls to select a City Council representative. Incumbent Democrat Farah Louis, who won the seat earlier this year after Williams won the race for public advocate, is running for re-election. Her two opponents are Anthony Beckford, running on the Liberal party line, and David Fite, a Libertarian. The district includes Flatbush, East Flatbush, and parts of Midwood, Marine Park, Flatlands and Kensington.

City Charter revisions

The election ballot contains five proposed changes to the New York City Charter.

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  • Question 1 would amend the charter to give voters the opportunity to rank candidates in numerical order (instead of voting for just one candidate) in primaries and special elections for mayor, City Council, public advocate, comptroller and borough president. Voters would be allowed to rank up to five candidates.
  • Question 2 seeks to make changes to the operations of the Civilian Complaint Review board, including a larger budget and the ability for the independent agency to investigate police who present it with false testimony.
  • Question 3 would amend the charter to prohibit elected officials and senior appointed officials from appearing before the branch of government they served or the city agency where they worked for a period of two years after they leave city service.
  • Question 4 would allow the city to set up a “rainy day fund” to put money aside in the city budget for use in future years to address unexpected hardships.
  • Question 5 would give local community boards more time to review and vote on land use matters. Boards would have 90 days to review a project once it is certified by the Department of City Planning under the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure. The current review period is 60 days.

Voters will also be asked to vote in a general election for judicial candidates for Kings County Surrogate’s Court, New York State Supreme Court and Civil Court.

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 5. But for the first time this year, New York State also has an early voting option. Early voting began on Saturday, Oct. 26, and polls will be open each day until Sunday, Nov. 3. Polls will be closed on Monday, Nov. 4 and will reopen on Tuesday, Nov. 5.

For information on polling sites and the hours the sites will be open, visit or call 1-866-VOTE-NYC.

Correction (10 a.m.) — A previous version of this article erroneously stated that Ballot Question No. 2 seeks to give the CCRB subpoena power. The CCRB already has subpoena power. The article has been updated with the correct information.   

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