New York Governor Andrew Cuomo won big in New York’s elections on Tuesday, and his name wasn’t even on the ballot.
Six ballot initiatives appeared on the Election Day ballot, and two of them hold outsized political implications for Cuomo. The governor found himself on the right side of both initiatives.
Cuomo lent his gravitas, and his voice, to support a proposal to pass a constitutional amendment authorizing casino-style gambling in New York. Cuomo argued that the measure particularly benefits upstate towns and counties while returning revenue and jobs to New York State.
The casino gaming amendment passed Tuesday with 57 percent of the vote. In a statement released after the proposal’s passage was announced, Cuomo said, “This vote will keep hundreds of millions of dollars spent each year in neighboring states right here in New York, while increasing revenue for local schools, lowering property tax taxes, and bringing proper regulation to the industry.”
The casino gaming amendment won largely thanks to the support of downstate voters. The amendment received downstate support in spite of the fact that New York City residents are not as likely to reap the benefits, in terms of jobs or revenues, as upstate communities.
The New York World mapped the county-by-county breakdown of support for the casino gaming amendment. Darker blue reflects stronger support for the measure within the county; click on a county to see how many voters there voted for and against the ballot proposal. These results reflect the New York State Board of Elections unofficial election-night returns.
The language of Proposal One, as it appeared on Tuesday’s ballot:
Authorizing Casino Gaming
The proposed amendment to section 9 of article 1 of the Constitution would allow the Legislature to authorize up to seven casinos in New York State for the legislated purposes of promoting job growth, increasing aid to schools, and permitting local governments to lower property taxes through revenues generated. Shall the amendment be approved?
The failure of a little-mentioned ballot measure handed Cuomo a second victory on Tuesday. A constitutional amendment to increase the mandatory retirement age on Supreme Court Justices and Court of Appeals judges received only 40 percent of the vote. The amendment’s failure means that several Republican judges may be forced into retirement, leaving Cuomo with the power to replace them with more liberal-leaning judges. While downstate voters were basically split on the measure, voters in western New York, particularly in Buffalo, firmly rejected the proposal, strengthening Cuomo’s hand in the process.
The New York World mapped the county-by-county breakdown of support for the constitutional amendment to increase the mandatory retirement age for Supreme Court justices and Court of Appeals judges. Darker blue reflects stronger support for the measure; click on a county to see how many voters there voted for and against the ballot proposal. These results reflect the New York State Board of Elections unofficial election-night returns.
The language of Proposal Six, as it appeared on Tuesday’s ballot:
Increasing Age until which Certain State Judges Can Serve
The proposed amendment to the Constitution, amending sections 2 and 25 of article 6, would increase the maximum age until which certain state judges may serve as follows: (a) a Justice of the Supreme Court would be eligible for five additional two-year terms after the present retirement age of 70, instead of the three such terms currently authorized; and (b) a Judge of the Court of Appeals who reaches the age of 70 in order to complete the term to which that Judge was appointed. Shall the proposed amendment be approved?