Let NY Vote Coalition Addresses Early Voting Next Steps for 2020

Press conference ahead of legislative hearing to assess NY's first Early Voting period

NEW YORK, NY (11/20/2019) (readMedia)-- Ahead of a legislative hearing to assess the first Early Voting period in New York State, the Let NY Vote Coalition, including Common Cause/NY Executive Director Susan Lerner, will address next steps heading into the presidential primaries in April. Early Voting was an overwhelming success in New York State, with voters registering high rates of satisfaction. However, there will need to be additional improvements and changes going forward to fully work out all the kinks, such as ensuring that all New Yorkers will be able to vote at any Early Voting poll site in their county.

The first-ever Early Voting period began October 26th and lasted nine days, ending on November 3rd.


The Let NY Vote coalition - a statewide network of over 175 member organizations - has been a leading voice on common sense election reform.

Let NY Vote's full list of wins in the 2019 legislative session include:

  • Early Voting (enacted into law): in place in 37 other states and now New York, allowing citizens to cast ballots in person days, sometimes weeks, before an election. The 2019 New York State budget included $14.7 million for electronic poll-books and $10 million for counties to implement early voting.
  • Pre-registration of 16 and 17-year-olds (enacted into law): 13 states plus DC allow for pre-registration for voting at 16 and 17 years old. Pre-registration increases the likelihood of voter participation among young adults. Engaging potential voters at a young age and bringing them into the voting process early helps create lifelong voters.
  • Consolidation of Primary Dates (enacted into law): Currently New York has two primary days in June and September, confusing voters. New York is the only state with two primaries.
  • Vote by mail (passed in leg, requires constitutional amendment): No eligible voter should have to provide a reason to be able to vote absentee.
  • Same day registration (passed in leg, requires constitutional amendment): 18 states and DC have Same Day Registration. Same Day Registration enables voters to register and vote at the same time and increases voter turnout.
  • Flexibility to Change Party Affiliation (enacted into law): New York has the most restrictive deadline in the country, locking out hundreds of thousands of voters during the primaries. The change of party deadline must be shortened to allow people to make an informed decision.

What's left on the voting right's agenda:

  • Automatic Voter Registration: where registering to vote becomes seamless, electronic, and automatic. 16 states and Washington DC have already implemented some form of AVR.
  • Voting Rights for People on Parole: the restoration of voting rights for people on parole needs to be codified in law, so that restoration becomes an automatic process.
  • One Single Deadline for Voter Registration and Party Enrollment: Currently, there are too many deadlines for voters: one for a first time voter, address change, party affiliation, etc. These deadlines must be aligned to reduce confusion and streamline the process.

Susan Lerner, Executive Director of Common Cause/NY

Victor Pate, Campaign Organizer at The New York Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement (NYCAIC)

Rachel Bloom, Director of Policy at Citizens Union

Jennifer Wilson, Director of Policy and Programs at the League of Women Voters



 Press conference ahead of legislative hearing to assess NY’s first Early Voting period

WHEN: Wednesday November 20, 2019 at 09:15AM Eastern Time (US & Canada)
WHERE: Sidewalk outside the Early Voting hearing
250 Broadway
Manhattan, New York