Sen. Kaplan + AMs Darling, Lavine, Ramos, Solages Urge Long Islanders to Vote Yes on Proposals 1, 3, 4!

LONG ISLAND, NY (10/25/2021) (readMedia)-- Senator Anna Kaplan, Assembly Members Charles Lavine, Michaelle Solages, Phil Ramos, and Taylor Darling joined with Long Island activist groups Common Cause New York, Make the Road New York, New York Civic Engagement Table, New York Communities for Change, New York Public Interest Research Group, Long Island Progressive Coalition, and Elmont Cultural Center to urge Long Islanders to vote yes on Proposals 1, 3, and 4. All three proposals, which appear on the back of New Yorkers' ballot this November, will give New York a better and more fair redistricting process, strengthen democracy, and make voting more accessible in New York. Early Voting runs October 23rd - October 31st and Election Day is November 2nd.

Check out the Yes on 1, 3, 4 campaign website here.

"At a time when our democracy and our sacred right to vote is under attack around the country, New York is on the verge of taking a big step forward to protect our rights and ensure that we can all have our voices heard at the ballot box. I urge every New Yorker to join me in flipping their ballots this year and voting YES on Proposals 1, 3, and 4, sending a message that we still believe in American Democracy, and we believe in giving everyone a voice in their government, said Senator Anna M. Kaplan.

"Our democracy is stronger when everyone's voice is heard. Long Island communities deserve a fairer redistricting process that puts people first, and we deserve a system where it's easy to register to vote and cast your ballot. That's why I urge voters who want to strengthen our state's democracy to vote yes on ballot proposals 1, 3, and 4," said Assembly Member Michaelle Solages.

"Proposals 1, 3, and 4 are common-sense measures that will make New York's redistricting process better and more fair, and make it easier for New Yorkers to vote. The Legislature passed these reforms in order to strengthen democracy in New York, and I hope all New Yorkers join me in voting yes on proposals 1, 3, and 4," said Assembly Member Charles Lavine.

"As red states attack voting rights, New York is-and must continue to-move in the opposite direction. We need to make it easier for people to register to vote and cast their ballots, and we need to make the redistricting process fairer for communities. I'm proud to join Long Island community organizations and elected officials to say: vote yes on proposals 1, 3, and 4," said Assembly Member Phil Ramos.

"I am in full support of proposals 1, 3 and 4. These proposals are critical in showing the true numbers in our district so we can be at the table to bring better resources to our community. We need to make voting process as streamlined, simple, convenient and engaging as possible. The closer we get to that type of voting environment the stronger our democracy will be," said Assembly Member Taylor Darling.

Proposal 1 will reform the redistricting process to create districts that put New Yorkers before politicians. It will:

  • Guarantee that political districts include all residents regardless of citizenship status - as originally intended in the U.S. Constitution - for the purposes of redistricting. While this is current practice, enshrining this into the state constitution will ensure that New Yorkers are protected if federal law excludes noncitizens from the Census.
  • Enshrine a ban on prison-based gerrymandering in the state constitution, thus ensuring that incarcerated people are not used as political pawns.
  • Adjust the redistricting timeline so that final maps will be finished in time for 2022 candidates to make a decision and begin circulating nominating petitions in the actual districts they will run in. Because New York's primaries were moved in 2019 from September to June, if Proposal 1 does not pass, the timeline for finalizing maps will be out of sync with the election cycle.
  • Reduce the ability of political parties to manipulate the mapmaking process by freezing the number of State Senators at 63. The State Legislature has decided in the last 3 redistricting cycles to change the number of senators for partisan advantage.
  • Get rid of the need for the Independent Redistricting Commission's co-executive directors to represent each party, in favor of co-executive directors elected by a majority vote of the bipartisan commission. This will not only simplify the commission's process, but reduce the State Legislature's control over the mapmaking process and minimize partisan bias.
  • Require a uniform vote to approve maps, regardless of which parties are in control of the State Legislature. Currently, a two-thirds vote is required to approve maps if one party controls the legislature, and a simple majority is required if there is bipartisan control. This complicates the map approval process, acting as a pseudo-filibuster when a two-thirds vote is required. Proposal 1 will eliminate the shifting standards for map approval based solely on election outcomes and replace them with one clear, unchanging standard.

Proposal 3 means no more voter registration deadlines. The most reliable way to increase voter turnout is with a combination of early voting (which New York already has) and eliminating the unfair and unnecessary disenfranchisement that is caused by arbitrary voter registration deadlines. New York has two different voter registration deadlines: one is the 10 day cutoff in the state constitution that Proposal 3 would eliminate, and the other is the 25 day cutoff that is part of state law. The first step to doing away with voter registration deadlines and ultimately paving the way for implementing same-day voter registration in New York is passing Proposal 3, which will eliminate the 10 day cutoff for voter registration in the state constitution.

Proposal 4 would make voting more accessible for all New Yorkers by allowing voters to request an absentee ballot, no excuse needed. The pandemic led to expanded absentee voting, allowing over 1.5 million people in 2020 to vote by citing "temporary illness" as their excuse to request an absentee ballot. However, that will end this year, and New York's more restrictive absentee voting laws, which require voters to prove they will either be out of town or otherwise incapacitated to vote in person, will be back in force. Typically, only 3-5% of voters met these eligibility requirements. Proposal 4 would delete these narrow requirements from the constitution and have New York join the 34 states and Washington, D.C. that allow no-excuse absentee voting.

Organizations involved in the effort include Common Cause New York; Make the Road New York; New York Communities for Change; New York Civic Engagement Table; New York Public Interest Research Group; Long Island Progressive Coalition; Elmont Cultural Center; and more.

"Long Islanders have the chance to show up for democracy this election. By voting yes on proposals 1, 3, and 4, we can support Long Island's communities by making our redistricting process more fair, and making it easier for all New Yorkers to vote." said Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause/NY.

??"Long Island has been ground zero for cynical gerrymandering that divides communities of colors to reduce our power," said Eliana Fernandez, Long Island Lead Organizer for Make the Road New York. "We need a fairer redistricting system that puts people over politicians, and that's why we're supporting ballot proposal 1. We also need to make sure that every eligible voter can easily register and cast their ballot, so we're also proud to support Proposals 3 and 4. We urge our Long Island neighbors to vote Yes on 1, 3, and 4."

"Long Islanders have three chances to strengthen New York's democracy this election," said Maraki Russell, Long Island Regional Coordinator for the N.Y. Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG). "Improving a broken redistricting system and enhancing voting are on the ballot. Long Islanders should vote yes on proposals 1, 3, and 4."

"Long Islanders stand united in the quest for a stronger democracy. That's why we're urging voters to vote yes on ballot proposals 1, 3, and 4 to ensure a fair redistricting process for our region and to safeguard the voting rights of all," said Lisa Tyson, Director of the Long Island Progressive Coalition.

"Long Island continues to become more diverse yet Black and brown communities denied a seat at the table. When communities of color vote Yes on proposals 1, 3 and 4 they will challenge deeply rooted racism on Long Island and ensure that our communities have the representation they need," said Lucas Sanchez, Deputy Director, New York Communities for Change

"More than ever, our freedom to vote and democracy are under attack. This Fall, we have an opportunity to protect both. New Yorkers will have a say by voting YES on proposals 1, 3, and 4. Communities before politicians, eliminating voter registration deadlines, and no excuse for absentee ballots. Let's flip our ballots and VOTE YES to 1, 3, and 4," said Mimi Pierre Johnson, president, Elmont Cultural Center.