Remember how much fun it was to take kids into the voting booth even just a couple of years ago? In a attempt to make the system simpler and more foolproof (no hanging chads!) last Election Day, New York switched over from the lever machines that I remember from my youth to paper and pencil ballots. I know it’s supposed to be simpler, but frankly I find it more confusing (and not just because I’m adverse to change.)
Here is a cheat sheet of what tomorrow’s ballot will look like:
You’ll notice the Woman’s Equality PartyWoman’s Equality Party (WEP) is on the ballot for the first time.
What is the Women’s Equality Party and what is it doing there?
The WEP line on the ballot is an attempt to create the first party in the nation which focuses on women’s rights. If 50,000 New Yorkers vote for their candidates of choice on the WEP line on Election Day, New York will have taken a real, tangible step towards the future by forming the first WEP in the nation.
What does the WEP stand for?
All candidates on the WEP have committed to passing the full Women’s Equality 10 point Plan:
1. Establish Pay Equity for Women
2. Stop Sexual Harassment in Every Workplace
3. Stop Businesses from Discriminating against Pregnant Women
4. Strengthen Human Trafficking Laws
5. End Hiring and Salary Discrimination Against Parents
6. Stop Landlord Discrimination Against Women Who Depend on Housing Assistance
7. Stop Housing Discrimination for Victims of Domestic Violence
8. Allow for the Recovery of Attorneys’ Fees in Employment and Credit and Lending Cases
9. Protect Victims of Domestic Violence by Strengthening Order-of-Protection Laws
10. Apply the full standards of Roe v. Wade in New York
I also pledge to demand that all candidates support passing new legislation that will subject colleges and universities in New York to new oversight and reform how they handle sexual assaults, including incidents involving rape, that are reported on their campuses.
Last week, I had the opportunity to join in on a phone call with former Speaker of the New York City Council Christine Quinn to pick her brain about the WEP.
My biggest question for Ms. Quinn was whether a vote on the WEP line would dilute the Democratic Party line.
She explained that the fledgling party is :
“Not a huge geopolitical move against a two party system–just a statement that we can’t stand for women’s rights being ignored on Albany.”
If you vote WEP, you maintain your identity as a Democrat or a Republican–you simply also say that Women’s issues are important.