Common Cause/NY Urges New Yorkers on Election Day to Vote Yes on 1, 3, 4

+ general voting guidance and FAQ

NEW YORK, NY (11/02/2021) (readMedia)-- Today is Election Day in New York! Polls are open from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m, and Common Cause/NY is urging voters to flip their ballots and vote YES on proposals 1, 3, and 4 to strengthen democracy.

"Proposals 1, 3, and 4 are vital measures to enshrine expanded voting rights and a better redistricting process into our state constitution. 20 states have same-day voter registration, and 34 states have no-excuse absentee voting. Why should voters in Buffalo or Brooklyn miss out on the same opportunities as Americans in two-thirds of the nation? Vote yes on proposals 1, 3, and 4 today!" said Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause/NY.

Ballot proposals 1, 3, and 4 have been endorsed by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Gillibrand, 9 members of Congress including Reps Nadler, Ocasio-Cortez, Velázquez, Maloney, Bowman, Meng, Jones, Jeffries, and Rice; 6 key labor unions including 1199 SEIU, 32BJ, CWA District 1, NYSNA, CIR SEIU, and DC37; Mayor de Blasio; state legislators including Senators Brisport, Kaplan, Hoylman, Myrie, Salazar, Ramos, Assemblymembers González-Rojas, Darling, Gallagher, Lavine, Ramos, Rosenthal, Solages, and 50+ civic engagement groups.

Learn more at:

General voting advice/reminders

In-person voting reminders

  • Polls are open until 9 pm! Check your poll site before you head out.
  • Wear a mask or one should be provided for you!
  • There is no voter ID law in NYS, you do not need to bring an ID to vote.
  • If you arrive at your poll site, and you are not on the rolls, cast an affidavit ballot. Your vote may count and you will be automatically added to the rolls.

Absentee voting

  • Any voter can drop off their absentee ballot at their Election Day poll site. There is a special dropbox for absentee ballots.
  • Want to mail it? Head to your post office to make sure it's postmarked with today's date! Post office closed? See above.
  • Don't forget to sign and date the absentee ballot envelope.

Background on Proposals 1, 3, 4

Proposal 1 will reform the redistricting process to create districts that put New Yorkers before politicians. It will:

  • Guarantee that political districts include all residents regardless of citizenship status - as originally intended in the U.S. Constitution - for the purposes of redistricting. While this is current practice, enshrining this into the state constitution will ensure that New Yorkers are protected if federal law excludes noncitizens from the Census.
  • Enshrine a ban on prison-based gerrymandering in the state constitution, thus ensuring that incarcerated people are not used as political pawns.
  • Adjust the redistricting timeline so that final maps will be finished in time for 2022 candidates to make a decision and begin circulating nominating petitions in the actual districts they will run in. Because New York's primaries were moved in 2019 from September to June, if Proposal 1 does not pass, the timeline for finalizing maps will be out of sync with the election cycle.
  • Reduce the ability of political parties to manipulate the mapmaking process by freezing the number of State Senators at 63. The State Legislature has decided in the last 3 redistricting cycles to change the number of senators for partisan advantage.
  • Get rid of the need for the Independent Redistricting Commission's co-executive directors to represent each party, in favor of co-executive directors elected by a majority vote of the bipartisan commission. This will not only simplify the commission's process, but reduce the State Legislature's control over the mapmaking process and minimize partisan bias.
  • Require a uniform vote to approve maps, regardless of which parties are in control of the State Legislature. Currently, a two-thirds vote is required to approve maps if one party controls the legislature, and a simple majority is required if there is bipartisan control. This complicates the map approval process, acting as a pseudo-filibuster when a two-thirds vote is required. Proposal 1 will eliminate the shifting standards for map approval based solely on election outcomes and replace them with one clear, unchanging standard.

Proposal 3 means no more voter registration deadlines. The most reliable way to increase voter turnout is with a combination of early voting (which New York already has) and eliminating the unfair and unnecessary disenfranchisement that is caused by arbitrary voter registration deadlines. New York has two different voter registration deadlines: one is the 10 day cutoff in the state constitution that Proposal 3 would eliminate, and the other is the 25 day cutoff that is part of state law. The first step to doing away with voter registration deadlines and ultimately paving the way for implementing same-day voter registration in New York is passing Proposal 3, which will eliminate the 10 day cutoff for voter registration in the state constitution.

Proposal 4 would make voting more accessible for all New Yorkers by allowing voters to request an absentee ballot, no excuse needed. The pandemic led to expanded absentee voting, allowing over 1.5 million people in 2020 to vote by citing "temporary illness" as their excuse to request an absentee ballot. However, that will end this year, and New York's more restrictive absentee voting laws, which require voters to prove they will either be out of town or otherwise incapacitated to vote in person, will be back in force. Typically, only 3-5% of voters met these eligibility requirements. Proposal 4 would delete these narrow requirements from the constitution and have New York join the 34 states and Washington, D.C. that allow no-excuse absentee voting.