NEW YORK, NY (03/08/2018) (readMedia)-- Today, State Senator Fred Akshar announced on the Capitol Pressroom Susan Arbetter that he did not think early voting would be discussed prior to the 2018-19 budget.
Susan Lerner, Executive Director of Common Cause/NY, responds:
"Senator Akshar's comments today demonstrate that he understands that a majority of New Yorkers want accessible, efficient elections. 37 states already have some form of early voting, and we urge Senate Republicans like Senator Akshar to heed New Yorkers' call and pass early voting in this year's budget."
A Siena Poll released in February shows that 67% of New Yorkers, including 60% of Upstate New Yorkers, 48% of Republicans and 65% of suburban New Yorkers, support early voting. This percentage is up two percent from January.
Early voting would allow citizens to cast ballots in person days, sometimes weeks, before an election. Currently, 37 states already have some form of early voting, leaving New York as one of only 13 states without any means to vote early except via absentee ballot.
In Feburary, Governor Cuomo announced a historic 30-day amendment to his proposed budget that that will provide approximately $7 million to New York counties to offer early voting.
This year, Let NY Vote, formerly known as Easy Elections NY, formed as a statewide coalition of organizations & grassroots groups fighting to modernize New York's elections. The goal is to pass simple solutions in 2018 to improve our elections and remove barriers to registering and voting for all eligible New Yorkers.
The Let NY Vote coalition is made up of over thirty organizations, nonprofits, and labor unions, including Common Cause/NY, Public Citizen, New York State United Teachers, SEIU 32BJ, RWDSU, CWA District 1, as well as the statewide NAACP and the National Action Network, grassroots organizations, faith groups, civil liberties, reproductive and immigrant rights, criminal justice and re-entry groups, New American, and the LGBTQ community. A full list is available at letnyvote.org.