Important Dates and Deadlines for the 2019 Public Advocate Special Election

08/01/2019

The official date for New York City’s citywide special election for Public Advocate has been set for Tuesday, February 26. All candidates for this election must register with the NYC Campaign Finance Board (CFB). Candidates planning on participating in the Campaign Finance Program should submit a new certification form to the CFB by Friday, January 11, so that they can complete the first disclosure filing. The legal deadline to submit a certification form is Tuesday, January 15.

The first disclosure deadline for all candidates in this election will be on Tuesday, January 15. A full list of the special election disclosure deadlines is available on the CFB website. Candidates are also required by law to attend one of the CFB’s Compliance and C-SMART training sessions, available on three separate dates in January. These training sessions teach campaigns how to comply with the city's campaign finance law and properly disclose their finances to the public. According to the NYC Board of Electionswebsite, the deadline for candidates to submit petition signatures to qualify for the ballot is Monday, January 14.

The 2019 Special Election will be the first election cycle in which the new $8-to-$1 public matching funds program provisions will be in effect, allowing average New Yorkers to have more of a voice in city elections. The 2019 candidates may decide if they wish to participate under the new limits and thresholds.
 
Contribution Limits

New Program 
(Option A) Participant

Old Program 
(Option B) Participant

Non-Participant

$1,000

$2,550

$2,550

 
Threshold to Qualify for Matching Funds

Minimum Funds Raised

Minimum Number of Contributors

$62,500

500


To receive public matching funds, candidates must raise a minimum of $62,500 from at least 500 contributors. Only contributions from New York City residents apply toward meeting the $62,500 threshold. For candidates who choose the old program, only the first $175 of those contributions count toward the threshold; for candidates who choose the new program, only the first $250 count towards the threshold.

The first public funds payments will be disbursed to eligible candidates after the NYC Board of Elections has certified the ballot in the last week of January.
 
Public Funds Payments

Program Choice

Matching Rate

Maximum Matchable
Per Contributor

Maximum Public Funds 
Per Contributor

Maximum Public Funds 
Per Election

New Program (Option A)

$8-to-$1

$250

$2,000

$3,416,250

Old Program (Option B)

$6-to-$1

$175

$1,050

$2,505,250


The CFB's nonpartisan voter engagement initiative, NYC Votes, will produce a range of programs to inform New York City voters about this election. Coming this February are:
  • A voter guide, with profiles for the candidates on the ballot to be published online along with videos of candidate statements. The deadline for candidates to schedule a videotaping is Friday, January 18.
  • A multi-lingual paid promotional digital campaign urging voters to read the Voter Guide at Voting.NYC will launch in mid-February.
  • Two candidate debates as required by the citywide Debate program.

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