Common Cause/NY Lays Out 2023 Albany Legislative Priorities

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NEW YORK, NY (12/15/2022) (readMedia)-- Today, a few weeks before New York lawmakers head into a new session in Albany, Common Cause/NY laid out their priorities for the new year. Those issues include: repealing resolutions calling for an Article V convention, reforming the Board of Elections (as well as fully funding local ones), expanding voting rights, and more.

See full list below and attached.

"Common Cause/NY is made up of over 115,000 grassroots members and activists from Buffalo to Bay Ridge who fight for voting rights, ethics reform, and fair redistricting. For the past few years, the New York State Legislature has stood on the side of voters, enacting a host of pro-voter legislation including early voting and automatic voter registration. This year is no different. We look forward to working with lawmakers to strengthen voter protections, protect our democracy, and curtail corruption in New York," said Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause/NY.


**Note, some issues lack a bill number because they haven't been assigned yet for the 2023 cycle.

Expand voting rights and invest in our elections:

  • Allow New Yorkers to provide water and snacks to voters at poll sites or while in line to vote. (S7382A Myrie/A9477A Simon)
  • Ensure voters easily understand state ballot proposals as the language is frequently lengthy and confusing. (A10708 Zinerman/(bill# requested Comrie)
  • Pilot same day registration during the last day of early voting. (S1552/Myrie)
  • Ensure the timely implementation of Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) and Online Voter Registration (OVR). We fought hard to pass AVR and OVR and the New York State Board of Elections (NYSBOE) must move quickly to implement both tools that will facilitate voter registration.
  • New York is one of the few states that does not provide consistent nor significant state funding for election administration. An annual dedicated budget line should be created to support local Boards of Elections efforts to smoothly hold elections.
  • Improve procedure for approving voting equipment. Ensuring that machines read only the portion of ballots marked by voters and that cost and security can be considered in the certification process.
  • Permanent expanded definition of "temporary illness" for absentee voting.
  • Uniform procedures for voting while in jail. Citizens who are in jail have the right to vote, but are often prevented from voting because the local jurisdiction in control of the jail has no procedures in place.

Protect our democracy:

  • New York must move quickly to repeal our Article V Resolutions. Article V resolutions are aged legislative resolutions calling for a federal constitutional convention. These old resolutions do not by their terms have any expiration date. Extremist entities seeking to call a constitutional convention to hobble the federal government argue that these old resolutions serve to New York as approving a constitutional convention bringing the total count close to the needed 34 states.
  • Board of Elections reform. Professionalizing and reducing partisanship in election administration is an essential component to improving our elections.
  • Cap on legislators outside income. Now that the Salary Commission procedure has been upheld by New York courts, the request to cap outside income accompanying the salary increase should be addressed.

Strength campaign Laws

  • Reduce the corrosiveness of money in politics and enhance public trust in our government by passing:
    • S940 (Krueger) which would increase lobbyist disclosures
    • S2546 (Rivera) which would increase employer disclosure requirements for campaign contributions
    • S483A (Myrie) prohibit campaign contributions from individuals or organizations while bidding on state contracts