Lawmakers, Voting Rights Groups Urge Assembly to Pass Voter Roll Bill Before End of Session

Bill passed the Senate, now Assembly has opportunity to protect New York's elections, ensure voter rolls are better maintained, and lessen burden on election officials

ALBANY, NY (06/05/2024) (readMedia)-- With just three days left of session in Albany, Common Cause New York joined with Assemblymember Gina Sillitti, Senator James Skoufis, the Brennan Center for Justice, the New York Civic Education Table (NYCET), the League of Women Voters New York, Citizen Action of New York, Vote Early New York and others to urge the Assembly to pass A7052C / S6173B: legislation that would authorize New York State to join the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) and other multistate voter list organizations. The bill already passed the Senate in January.

Watch a recording of the event here.

"Keeping a reliable voter roll is essential to New York's ability to safely and securely run our elections. But without any central system for sharing information between states, voter rolls are incredibly difficult and expensive to maintain. Joining ERIC would ensure our voter rolls are more efficiently and accurately maintained, while allowing election officials to spend their resources on other priorities. Lawmakers should do more to guarantee New York is best prepared to run our elections without issue - and with just two days left to go, the Assembly must move quickly to get this common sense bill done now," said Susan Lerner, Executive Director of Common Cause/NY.

"Over the past few years, the bedrock of our democracy - safe and fair elections - have been under attack by a campaign of misinformation and conspiracy theories. By joining ERIC, New York will be able to further enhance the transparency and confidence of our election system by improving the accuracy of our voter rolls. The partnership with ERIC will boost voter registration access, cut election costs, and enhance the overall efficiency of our Board of Elections," said Assemblymember Gina Sillitti.

"Free and fair elections are the cornerstone of our democracy, and New York's inclusion in a robust and safe data maintenance program will only enhance voter safety and confidence. I am always proud to advance efforts to make voting in New York more fair, accessible, and trusted," said Senator James Skoufis.

"Passing A7052C / S6173B is a must for New York. As we know from the states that already belong to ERIC, joining ERIC would vastly improve the accuracy of New York's voter rolls. It would also make it less likely that eligible voters will be removed from the rolls – an issue on display in past New York elections because election officials relied upon unreliable data for voter list maintenance. The Brennan Center commends the bill's sponsors for their work to improve election administration. We urge lawmakers to pass A7052C / S6173B without delay," said Marina Pino, Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law.

"The New York Civic Engagement Table (NYCET) collaborates with over 70 social justice and service-based organizations across New York. Our partners access the NY voter rolls to contact voters to inform them of upcoming elections and how they can participate, with special focus on reaching out to new voters or voters that have not recently voted according to the voter rolls. Access to accurate voter rolls is key to successfully reaching out to communities The assistance ERIC provides would include reliably identifying voters who have moved out of NY to another ERIC state or moved within NY, catching duplicates and identifying voters who have died. Passing A7052C would safeguard the accuracy of our voter rolls and ensure that eligible New Yorkers are able to vote," said Karla Bradley, Deputy Director at the New York Civic Engagement Table (NYCET).

"This is the time for New York to join ERIC. To instill public confidence and improve citizen participation in our democracy, it's vital that the states work together using modern, secure data-sharing and list maintenance practices that ensure our voter registration systems are capable of keeping up with our highly-mobile society," said Jarret Berg, Co-Founder of Vote Early New York.

ERIC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of states that shares and maintains voter roll data to ensure voter rolls are accurate and safe. For more than a decade, states have worked with ERIC to ensure election officials have the most accurate voter rolls and are able to detect any possible voting issues. ERIC also helps states conduct outreach to individuals with information on how they can register to vote. Currently, 24 states and Washington, D.C. are members of ERIC.

As registered voters move states or die, maintaining the state's voter roll requires significant resources from election officials. Joining ERIC would allow New York to share information with other states, making voter roll maintenance more reliable and efficient. If lawmakers pass this legislation, New York State will be required to officially join the multistate voter list organization as a member on or before July 31, 2025.