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Editorial: It’s not only candidates on this year’s ballot

New York voters will head to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 5, to pick their local representatives, public servants and judges. It will be an important day, to be sure, and while we always advocate on this page for the electorate to gather as much information as possible on their candidates, it’s not just people voters will be deciding on come Election Day.

This year brings a bevvy of constitutional amendments and other propositions to the ballot – six, to be precise. But as experienced citizens already know, it can be tough to make a decision on these issues based simply on the proposition’s language, which can waver between lopsided and indecipherable.

So, we present you with a summary of what will appear on the ballot, and the arguments pro or con for each measure. We hope you’ll keep this page handy for reference when it comes time to head to the polls.

Proposition 1: Casinos

This is the constitutional amendment that has been drawing the most attention. In short, if this proposition were passed, the state legislature would be allowed to authorize up to seven casinos to be built in New York. The locations of those hypothetical casinos have been the subject of much debate, but nothing has been decided officially.

It’s a pretty simple idea, but also one with strong opinions on both sides. Proponents argue casino gambling would create jobs and revenues for municipalities and schools, lifting the tax burden from residents and driving the economy. They also note casino gambling already exists at five Native American casinos in New York, and that thanks to a loophole in the existing law, legal slot machines hooked into the state’s lottery system are already in operation elsewhere. This measure, by that argument, would not greatly expand on what already exists.

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