NEW YORK, NY (02/14/2018) (readMedia)-- On Valentine's Day, voters from across the state dropped off nearly 20,000 petitions for Governor Cuomo to show their love for early voting. The petition was circulated by the Let NY Vote Coalition, as well as a number of national groups, including Daily Kos, People for the American Way, CREDO, and Friends of the Earth.
"Early voting is a non-partisan no-brainer that would bring New York in line with 37 other states that already have some form of it. New Yorkers love early voting and applaud Governor Cuomo for adding funding for it to his proposed budget. Now we've got to get it done by April 1," said members of the Let NY Vote Coalition.
A Siena Poll released on Monday shows that 67% of New Yorkers, including 60% of Upstate New Yorkers, 48% of Republicans and 65% of suburban New Yorkers, support early voting. This percentage is up two percent from January.
On Monday, 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. Amendments are officially due Thursday.
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.
This year, Let NY Vote, formerly 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 eligible 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Outdated elections are in part why only 29% of the state's eligible population voted in the last statewide election in 2014, putting New York in the bottom third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 Citizen, New York State United Teachers, SEIU 32BJ, RWDSU, CWA District 1, as well as the statewide NAACP and the National Action Network, grassroots organizations, faith groups, 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.