Mayor Bill de Blasio has officially announced the date for the special election for the Queens Borough President Office on Thursday.
Councilmen Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria), Donovan Richards (D-Far Rockaway, Laurelton) and Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), former Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) and Democratic police reform candidate Anthony Miranda will most likely go head-to-head against each other on March 24.
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz, the former borough president, had started her new role as the top prosecutor for the borough on Jan. 1 and is set to have her inauguration on Jan. 6 at 5:30 p.m. at St. John’s University, located at 8000 Utopia Parkway in Jamaica.
“I encourage all eligible Queens residents to vote in the upcoming special election, and I thank outgoing Borough President Melinda Katz for her leadership and increasing the World’s Borough’s diversity and dynamism, and wish her all the best in her new role,” said de Blasio.
Now that the candidates know how much time they have to garner voters for the special election, the tougher part begins – making it on the ballot.
“The seat requires 2,000 ballot signatures,” said Valerie Vazquez, the spokeswoman for the city’s Board of Elections. “They can begin circulating from the day the proclamation was issued, and they have 12 days to get petitions.”
Even if the candidates get 2,000 signatures, their petitions will have to be examined, according to Vazquez.
“There will be a hearing date, as like every election process the petitions are due, then there will be a process when individuals can object to the petitions and if that were to take place, there would have to be a hearing before the [BOE] commissioners,” said Vazquez. “The commissioners ultimately make the decision of who is on and off the ballot.”
The date to review petitions is not set as of yet, according to Vazquez.
Voters generally have 28 days before the date of a special election to vote, according to Vazquez. Those that want to vote early will have nine days before the eve of the election to get to the ballot box.
“We always encourage voters once the ballot is set to check the website because there is a wealth of information there, including who the candidates are, the sample ballot and how to locate their poll sites,” said Vazquez. “Go to Vote.NYC for information on the election.”