Siena Poll: New Yorkers Strongly Oppose Mugshot Ban; Favor Plastic Bag Ban

Apr 16, 2019

According to a new poll, most registered voters in New York support the plastic bag ban recently passed by the state legislature, but not the banning of mugshots.

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The Siena College Research Institute poll released Tuesday considers several proposals included in the $175.5 billion budget approved by the Assembly and Senate April 1st.  Siena’s Steve Greenberg says voters like a good share of them.   "Making the 2 percent property tax cap permanent. 64 percent of New Yorkers say that would be good for the state. 22 percent think it'll be bad. Banning the use of single-use plastic bags. By a 62 to 33 percent margin New Yorkers say that will be good for the state. Eliminating bail - monetary bail - for misdemeanors and non-violent felonies, by a 55 to 38 percent margin voters think that will be good for New York."

109th district Assemblywoman Pat Fahy, a Democrat, says banning the bags was a big win for New York.  4 "The second state in the country to ban plastic bags. 23 billion single-use bags used every year just in New York. Each year."

Greenberg says other proposals were not so popular with voters.   "Requiring online retailers to collect sales tax from purchases made by New Yorkers: 46 percent think that will be good, 48 percent think it'll be bad. And the new congestion pricing plan for Manhattan. 41 percent think it'll be good. 44 percent think it will be bad. But, one proposal is very unpopular with voters, and that is banning the release of mugshots by the police. 31 percent of New Yorkers think that'll be good for the state.  58 percent think it will be bad."

Fahy says the mugshot item is not a strict prohibition of photographs.   "So we've had scam artists if you will, on mugshots, that for people who were found perfectly innocent yet still have a problem with having these mugshots out in perpetuity. The problem is, the mugshots have been abused so this is an ability to try to rein that in and prevent the abuses that we have seen with the use of mugshots, but it does not preclude law enforcement's ability to use those mugshots where appropriate, especially when a suspect is at large."

Greenberg says 63 percent of voters polled opposed Governor Andrew Cuomo's salary hike from $179,000 to $250,000 by 2021.   "Governor Cuomo's standing with voters? Little change since last month. Right now 47 percent have a favorable view of Andrew Cuomo. 48 percent have an unfavorable view. How about public campaign financing? By a margin of 63 to 27 percent voters oppose this new public campaign finance plan and commission that was enacted as part of the budget."

The poll of 735 registered voters was conducted April 8-11. It has a margin of error of 4.1 percentage points. Sampling was conducted via a stratified dual frame probability sample of landline and cell phone telephone numbers (both from Survey Sampling International) from within New York State. Siena says data was statistically adjusted by age, party by region, and gender to ensure representativeness.