OCTOBER 29, 1949
NEW YORK, Friday—There are certain things that confuse many people when they go to vote on election day. Sometimes they have made a study of the candidates and they are pretty sure of the people they want to vote for. But when they are faced, as we are in New York State, with a long line of propositions and amendments, many people are bewildered and either vote on none or vote on only those they happen to have heard a good deal about.
The League of Women Voters in New York State—and I hope they have taken similar action in other states—has issued a bulletin telling us in New York what the meaning is of the titles that appear under the amendments and propositions. The pamphlet also gives us the arguments that are made by people who want us to vote "yes" and by people who want us to vote "no." This is very helpful because it points up what real differences there may be on both sides.
I think Amendment #1 in New York state is not very vital, but it is a step forward. It doesn't cover every contingency but it makes certain things clearer for us. The heading reads: "In case the person elected governor shall die after his election but before he shall have qualified as and assumed the office of governor, the powers and duties of the office of governor shall devolve upon the person elected lieutenant-governor and he shall serve as governor for the term for which the deceased governor-elect was elected."
Admittedly, this would make it impossible for a difficulty such as arose in Georgia several years ago to arise here and, therefore, I think I shall vote "yes" on it.
I shall vote "yes" on the veterans' bonus for such veterans as are now non-residents of our state. It seems to me if a man went into the war from New York state, but since his return for one reason or another has moved elsewhere, he is still entitled to the bonus from the state in which he lived prior to the war. He cannot claim a bonus in any other state.
I shall vote "yes" on the three propositions dealing with public housing. I have always believed it was necessary for the government to subsidize low-cost housing for low-income groups. From my point of view housing is one of the basic needs in raising the living standards of any community.
On Amendment #5, which changes the state constitutional provisions regarding preference in civil service appointments and promotions for veterans of all wars, I think that on the whole the new point system suggested is a good one and would probably bring us more efficiency in civil service.
So in whatever state you live, look at your amendments and propositions and get from somewhere an explanation of them before election day. They may be vitally important to the health and safety of many people in your community. In addition, some of them may affect situations that touch other aspects of local, state and national life.