Peace & Justice

This is the blog of the Commission on Peace and Justice for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

2006 New York State Catholic Voter Guide

The U.S. Bishops have made clear that Catholics have a moral responsibility to participate in the political process. In their pastoral statement, Faithful Citizenship: A Catholic Call to Political Responsibility they write: “All believers are called to faithful citizenship, to become informed, active, and responsible participants in the political process. Every voice matters in the public forum. Every vote counts. Every act of responsible citizenship is an exercise of significant individual power.”

With this in mind, the state’s Catholic Bishops, through the New York State Catholic Conference, sent out a 10-question survey to every candidate for governor, lieutenant governor, comptroller, attorney general, state Senate and state Assembly. The intent was to serve as a guide to Catholics as they consider who to vote for on Election Day, November 7.

The questions were mailed the day after the September 12 primary elections to candidates of both major and minor political parties. Candidates were instructed that they should return their responses by September 28. The Catholic Conference received responses from only 27 percent of those who were sent surveys. When candidates failed to respond, all boxes associated with their names were left blank. In some cases, the candidate responded with a letter but did not answer the questions, usually stating that he or she has a policy of not answering such surveys. These candidates are indicated in the Voter Guide with the line, “Response did not include answers to survey questions.” In the letter that was sent with the survey, candidates were told that explanations of their positions could not be accommodated, given space constraints. Nevertheless, some did send written responses that could not be accurately categorized as support, oppose or no position. In these cases, the answer is listed as QR, which stands for qualified response. If a candidate left a question blank, it is indicated by NR, or no response to that question.

The results are at