Voting Reform

Automatic Voter Registration, Granting people on parole the right to vote, and funding early voting for our counties to implement

Partners Involved: 32BJ, Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law, Citizen Action of NY, Common Cause NY, CWA Local 1180, Demos, Labor-Religion Coalition, League of Women Voters, Long Island Progressive Coalition, Make the Road NY, NY Civil Liberties Union, NY Democratic Lawyers Council, NYSUT, NY Civic Engagement Table, RWDSU, Strong Economy for All Coalition, and the NY WFP.

The Purpose: Because of your hard work in the past two years, the Let NY Vote Coalition has successfully brought the issue of voting reform front and center in New York by forming a deep and broad coalition, supporting grassroots activities, educating the public, and advocating with our representatives. Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature have now identified Voting Reform as a top priority for 2019, passing a sweeping set of voting reforms on day one of the session, and our goal is to ensure that comprehensive, progressive and equitable legislation is passed to ensure no eligible New Yorker is left behind.

Four of our sponsored pieces of legislation have been signed into law by the Governor. They are:

  • Early Voting*
  • Consolidated Federal and State Primaries
  • Pre Registration for 16 & 17 year olds
  • Portable Voter Registration

*Funding for Early Voting is not in the Executive Budget Proposal.

The Legislature has also approved two amendments to the NY State Constitution that need to be passed again by the new state legislature elected in 2020 and seated in 2021. Additionally, a referendum on approval of the constitutional amendments is required before the the amendments become law.  The two amendments are:

  • Same Day Voter Registration
  • Mail-in Balloting (No-Excuse Absentee Voting)

However, there are still priorities that have not passed the legislature.  Let New York Vote’s goal of increasing vote participation includes ensuring that people on parole are able to vote according to statute, and Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) so that people would have to opt out of being a voter instead of opting in.

Legislative Proposals:

  • Automatic Voter Registration (there is no bill number as there are competing pieces of legislation in play).
  • E Pollbooks (necessary for Early Voting Implementation)  S508 & A2070
  • Voting Rights for Individuals on Parole S1931 & A4987