Common Cause/NY Statement on Lack of Voting Rights Reform in State Budget

Governor and lawmakers must "make it up" to New Yorkers before end of legislative session

NEW YORK, NY (04/08/2017) (readMedia)-- In response to the lack of Early Voting and Automatic Voter Registration provisions in the state budget, Common Cause/NY Executive Director Susan Lerner released the following statement:

"Governor Cuomo and the Legislature chose not to include voting rights reform in this budget, leaving New Yorkers nearly last in the nation when it comes to fair and efficient elections," said Lerner. "Lawmakers have the remainder of session to make it up to their constituents who deserve the same rights as voters in 34 other states."


Enacting Early Voting would allow New Yorkers to cast their ballot at polling locations before the traditional Election Day. 34 states already have some form of Early Voting, leaving New York as one of only 16 states without any means to vote early except via absentee ballot. New York does not have any form of Automatic Voter Registration either. Automatically registering eligible voters encourages civic participation, and provides a vehicle for state agencies to efficiently transfer voter registration information to the Board of Elections. Outdated elections is in part why only 29 percent of the state's eligible population voted in 2014. New York ranks 41st in the nation in voter turnout.

Common Cause/NY is part of a coalition of activist organizations pushing for voting rights reform that includes SEIU 32BJ, NY Immigration Coalition, NYCLU, Brennan Center for Justice, NY Civic Engagement Table, TWU 100, Hispanic Federation, 2 hours A Week, Public Citizen, Citizen Action New York, Citizens Union, NYC Votes, New York Working Families, DuBois Bunche Center For Public Policy, Hugh L. Carey Institute, NYPIRG, Community Voices Heard, Women's City Club, Make the Road NY, NCAACP Brooklyn Chapter, Daily Kos, VOCAL, and the NY Progressive Action Network.