The information contained in this site is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.

What is a "proxy vote"?

Proxy voting is a form of voting whereby a member of a decision-making body may delegate his or her voting power to a representative, to enable a vote in absence. The representative may be another member of the same body, or external. (source)

In the county committee system this has been used as a means to consolidate power in the hands of a few usually well connected people. For instance in the 2016 county committee meeting in Brooklyn, the chairman Frank Seddio was able to outvote a majority of the actual people in attendance with 450 proxy votes. If someone asks you to sign over your proxy vote, you are in essence signing away your voting power, and you should carefully consider whether this person would vote how you would.

What is CCSunlight.org?

CCSunlight.org is a non-partisan effort to collect, organize and make accessible the full membership of the county committees in New York State. New York State's county committees are the basis of local government and are made up of publicly elected representatives. However, county committee membership information has traditionally been hard to access. CCSunlight.org is working to change that.

What is a county committee?

In New York State, the 2 majority political parties are required to form committees in each county. Thus, each New York county will have a Democratic County Committee and a Republican County Committee.

What does a county committee do?

They do a number of things. Chiefly, they create and oversee the rules that define how each local political party operates on the county level and they nominate and fund political candidates for local elections.

How many county committees are there in New York State?

There are 62 counties in New York State for the 2 majority parties. Since there are two county committees per county (one Democratic and one Republican), there are a total of 124 county committees in the state for those two parties. Other parties besides the Democrats and Republicans also have county committees though not necessarily in each county. 

How many members are there on a county committee?

Membership varies from county to county, but executive membership often numbers in the hundreds general membership often numbers in the thousands.

Why are there so many vacant seats on a county committee?

Many New Yorkers are unfamiliar with the county committee system.

How do I get on a county committee?

You can petition and run to be elected inside your assembly district once every term which is two years. You can also be appointed by the executive committee, however, being appointed means you can also be un-appointed at anytime. 

What is the difference between an elected and appointed CC member?

"Appointed" means that they were not actually elected but rather appointed to their position by the county committee after the election. 

What is a district leader?

Each assembly district has one or two DLs and these position are unpaid elected officials who sit on the executive committee. These officials act as liaisons between their AD and the the party executive committee. 

What is a party chair?

The party chair is the chairman of the county committee in a particular county. There are party chairs for every county committee in every county.

What is an assembly district?

From wikipedia: "The New York State Assembly is the lower house of the New York State Legislature. The Assembly is composed of 150 members representing an equal number of districts." More info on the New York State Assembly here.

What is an election district?

From wikipedia: "An election district is the basic electoral administrative division, containing a maximum of 950 registered voters (although it may be as large as 1150 registered voters between redistricting) with boundaries determined by the local board of elections. " More info on election districts here.

My county committee members aren't listed here, where can I find them?

County committee membership records are maintained by each county's board of elections. If you'd like to help us collect the membership records for your area, please consider volunteering with us.

Ben Yee Goes Over the Ins & Outs of the County Committee System

Ben Yee, Secretary of the Manhattan Democratic County Committee sat down with CC Sunlight's David Moore give an overview of how the county committee works.