NYS Senate Passes Common Cause/NY Election Priorities

NEW YORK, NY (07/23/2020) (readMedia)-- Yesteday, the New York State Senate passed a series of election reform bills, including expanding absentee voting and ensuring every properly cast absentee ballot is counted.

In response, Susan Lerner, Executive Director of Common Cause/NY, issued the following statement:

"The New York State Senate is prioritizing voters by passing a series of bills that will not only make it easier to vote, but give the Boards of Election ample time to prepare for the November election. Thanks to Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins' leadership and the bill sponsors, New York is taking necessary steps to protect our elections. We look forward to the State Assembly doing the same."

List of Common Cause/NY election priorities that passed:

  • Codifying the expansion of expanded absentee voting for the duration of the public health crisis.
    • In April, Governor Cuomo correctly issued an Executive Order (EO) expanding absentee voting so all voters could request a ballot in the mail due to the pandemic. The EO has since expired.
    • This bill would codify the EO into law: (S8015D)
  • Ensuring every properly cast absentee ballot is counted.
    • Right now, BOEs are counting a record number of absentee ballots. The BOE can legally invalidate ballots for a myriad of reasons including a missing signature or improperly sealed envelope. This bill would address technicalities:
    • S8370: allows for absentee ballot curing process
  • Requires at least one early voting poll site is in a high density, public transit accessible location (S8782)
  • Moving the deadline for registering to vote forward from 25 days before the election to the constitutional minimum 10 days (S2311)
  • Allowing NYC residents to register to vote online (S6463)
  • Requiring polling places to be on college campuses where more than 300 students are registered to vote (S4378A)

Last week, the Let NY Vote Coalition, which Common Cause/NY is a member of, released their priorities for July.