Let NY Vote Declares First Ever Early Voting Period a Huge Success
NEW YORK, NY (11/06/2019) (readMedia)-- The first-ever early voting period in New York - which gives voters nine days before election to cast their ballot - ended on Sunday. Election Day, November 5th was relatively hassle free, including in New York City, which has been historically plagued by Election Day problems. A handful of voters experienced malfunctioning ipads, and broken machines, but overall it was a smooth experience.
In response, Susan Lerner the Executive Director of Common Cause/NY, issued the following statement:
"Early Voting was a huge success across New York. Wait times were minimal - or non existent - and whatever minor hiccups happened, there was ample time for the Board of Elections to respond. This is how voting should be. The Let NY Vote coalition looks forward to many more successful early voting periods to come."
In January, New York joined 37 other states to establish Early Voting. The 2019 New York State budget included $14.7 million for electronic poll-books and $10 million for counties to implement early voting; almost exactly the combined $25 million the Let NY Vote coalition had asked for.
The Let NY Vote coalition plans to work with key stakeholders to ensure that future early voting poll sites are not located in public schools.
The Let NY Vote coalition - a statewide network of over 175 member organizations - has been demanding common sense voting reform in New York for years.
Let NY Vote's full list of wins in the 2019 legislative session:
- 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.
- 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.