NEW YORK, NY (03/29/2017) (readMedia)-- As part of a comprehensive effort to "Resist Voter Suppression", New Yorkers have sent nearly 5,000 emails, over 2,200 postcards and petitions and have made over 500 phone calls to Governor Cuomo demanding that the state fund Early Voting and Automatic Voter Registration in the budget.
Enacting Early Voting would allow New Yorkers to cast their ballot at polling locations before the traditional Election Day. 34 states already have some form of Early Voting, leaving New York as one of only 16 states without any means to vote early except via absentee ballot. New York does not have any form of Automatic Voter Registration either. Automatically registering eligible voters encourages civic participation, and provides a vehicle for state agencies to efficiently transfer voter registration information to the Board of Elections. Outdated elections is in part why only 29 percent of the state's eligible population voted in 2014, putting New York in the bottom third nationally.
"New Yorkers will not allow the Governor to walk back on his proposed voting rights reform," said Susan Lerner, Executive Director of Common Cause New York. "We will continue to hold Governor Cuomo's feet to the fire and demand that Early Voting and Automatic Voter Registration be funded. New Yorkers deserve the same voting rights that they have in Alaska and Georgia."
In addition to the phone-bank and letter campaign, Common Cause/NY organized a social media "thunderclap", where over two hundred activists utilized Facebook and Twitter to contact the Governor on voting rights reform. The thunderclap's reach spanned over 350,000 impressions across various social media platforms.
Common Cause/NY is part of a coalition of activist organizations pushing for voting rights reform that includes SEIU 32BJ, NY Immigration Coalition, NYCLU, NY Civic Engagement Table, TWU 100, Hispanic Federation, 2 hours A Week, Public Citizen, Citizen Action New York, Citizens Union, NYC Votes, New York Working Families, DuBois Bunche Center For Public Policy, Hugh L. Carey Institute, NYPIRG, Community Voices Heard, Women's City Club, Make the Road NY, NCAACP Brooklyn Chapter, Daily Kos, VOCAL, and the NY Progressive Action Network.