NEW YORK, NY (01/16/2018) (readMedia)-- Today Governor Cuomo delivered his budget 2018-19 address, including an investment in Early Voting for the first time. According to a Siena poll released today, 65% of New Yorkers support Early Voting. Last week, the women of color caucus in the New York State Assembly announced its support for Early Voting.
In response, the Let NY Vote Coalition issued the following statement:
"The Let NY Vote coalition applauds Governor Cuomo for including funding for early voting in his 2018-19 budget, and bringing New York one step closer to the 37 other states that already offer some form of it. This is a bi-partisan, no brainer: New Yorkers should be able to exercise their basic democratic rights without unnecessary barriers. We are looking forward to negotiating with the state legislature to ensure early voting receives adequate funding."
In his 2018 State of the State address, Governor Cuomo urged the Legislature to institute Early Voting.
New York State lags behind other states in election reform: 37 states and Washington DC have some form of Early Voting.
New York also lacks Automatic Voter Registration which would allow eligible voters to automatically register to vote whenever they interact with a state agency. In addition, 16 other states allow post-incarceration voting, which fosters re-entry through civic participation and is easier to administer. Outdated elections are in part why only 29% of the state's eligible population voted in the last statewide election in 2014, putting New York in the bottom third nationally: New York State currently ranks 41st in the nation.
This year, Let NY Vote, formally 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 New Yorkers.
The Let NY Vote coalition is made up of over thirty organizations, nonprofits, and labor unions, including the New York State United Teachers, SEIU 32BJ, RWDSU, CWA District 1, as well as the statewide NAACP and National Action Network, 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