CALL: Let NY Vote Coalition Lays Out Legislative Solutions Ahead of Elections Hearing

Common Cause/NY, former Colorado Speaker of the House, Citizens Union, Vote Early NY host a press conference zoom to recommend action before Nov election

NEW YORK, NY (08/11/2020) (readMedia)-- Today, ahead of the New York State Legislature's hearing on the June primary, the Let NY Vote coalition, including former Colorado Speaker of the House Crisanta Duran, Common Cause/NY, Citizens Union and Vote Early NY, will lay out legislative solutions for the November election.

Recommendations will include, expanded early voting, online voter registration for NYC, improved absentee voting and a robust voter education campaign.

In June, millions of voters cast their ballot absentee, early, or on Election Day. Governor Cuomo issued an executive order allowing anyone to vote absentee, for the very first time, because of the pandemic. With limited funding and staff, the BOE scaled up a previously sleepy absentee program in six weeks. While a majority of voters had a successful voting experience, in some cases there were long lines, and voters never received their absentee ballot, or failed to get their absentee ballot postmarked in time. The NYS legislature took action to combat some of these problems in July, but the coalition is recommending more action to improve voting in the Fall.


The Let NY Vote Coalition is a statewide network of over 175 member organization. In July, they realized their legislative priorities for the November election:

  • Codify the expansion of expanded absentee voting for the duration of the public health crisis.
    • In April, Governor Cuomo correctly issued an Executive Order (EO) expanding absentee voting so all voters could request a ballot in the mail due to the pandemic. The EO has since expired. These bills would codify the EO into law: (S8015B (Biaggi) A10169A (Dinowitz).
  • Ensure every properly cast absentee ballot is counted.
  • Right now, BOEs are counting a record number of absentee ballots. The BOE can legally invalidate ballots for a myriad of reasons including stray marks, improper sealing, and late postmarks. These bills would address technicalities:
    • S8368 (Myrie)/A10744(Paulin): protects ballots where voters intent is unambiguous
    • S8369 (Myrie)/A10746(Paulin): deals with methods for sealing absentee ballots
    • S8370 (Myrie)/no same as: allows for absentee ballot curing process due to observer challenge
    • S8367 (Myrie)/no same as: deals with absentee ballot postmarking issues and forces the USPS to use Full Service Intelligent Mail, which allows tracking of the absentee ballots through the postal service. Use of intelligent Mail would eliminate the possibility that a ballot mailed after the deadline would accidentally be counted.
  • Providing a return postage guaranteed envelope with absentee ballots.
    • Currently, BOEs are not required to send envelopes for ballots with prepaid postage. S8004 (Sanders)/A2327 (May) would require pre-paid postage.
  • Temporarily enable the use of an online voter registration portal in New York City.
    • The pandemic has caused a drop in voter registration across the state. This bill would make it easier for voters to register by allowing temporary use of the New York City Campaign Finance Board's online portal and would sunset as soon as the New York State Board of Elections online voter registration portal goes live in/by 2022: (S6463 Myrie /A8473 Blake)
  • Increase the minimum number of early voting sites to 10 per County S6922 (Kaplan)/A9791(Lavine).
  • Provide students with voter information and application for voter registration (S7194 (Benjamin)/A8998(Dinowitz)

Sarah Goff, Deputy Director of Common Cause/NY

Crisanta Duran, Former CO Speaker of the House

Rachel Bloom, Director of Public Policy & Programs at Citizens Union

Jarret Berg, co-founder of Vote Early NY


Press conference zoom, ahead of the New York State Legislature’s hearing on the June primary, where the Let NY Vote coalition, including former Colorado Speaker of the House Cristanta Durnan, Common Cause/NY, Citizens Union and Vote Early NY, will lay out legislative solutions for the November election.

WHEN: Tuesday August 11, 2020 at 09:15AM Eastern Time (US & Canada)
WHERE: ZOOM, see notes
New York

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Meeting ID: 829 3644 5233

Passcode: 694154

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