NEW YORK, NY (02/12/2018) (readMedia)-- Today, Governor Cuomo announced a historic 30-day amendment to his proposed budget that that will provide approximately $7 million to New York counties to offer Early Voting.
Early Voting would allow citizens to cast ballots in person days, sometimes weeks, before an election. Currently, 37 states already have some form of Early Voting, leaving New York as one of only 13 states without any means to vote early except via absentee ballot.
"The Let NY Vote Coaltion applauds Governor Cuomo's proposed investment for early voting in his 2018-19 amended budget. The historic proposal of $7 million dollars for New York counties to offer some form of early voting, if passed, will put New York in line with 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. This is crucial next step in securing early voting for all eligible New Yorkers," said members of the Let NY Vote Coalition.
A Siena Poll released this morning shows 67% of New Yorkers, including 60% of Upstate New York, 48% of Republicans and 65% of suburban New Yorkers, support Early Voting. This percentage is up two percent from January.
On Sunday, the New York Times editorialized on not only the need for Early Voting in New York, but to put funding in the budget.
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.
Outdated elections are in part why only 29% of the state's eligible population voted in the last statewide election in 2014, putting New York in the bottom third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.
The Let NY Vote coalition is made up of over thirty organizations, nonprofits, and labor unions, including Common Cause/NY, Public Citzen, 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