Letter: Urge New York state legislators to support voting reform

New York state legislators, on Tuesday, Dec. 11, will gather in advance of next year’s session to set their agenda. There is hope that 2019 will be the year of equitable voting. We citizens have an obligation to inform our representatives of our priorities: increased participation in voting and equity of influence not based on money.

In this last election cycle, just seven billionaires gave over $30 million in campaign contributions to legislative candidates throughout the state to block legislation that would have those billionaires pay their fair share of taxes, such as the carried interest loophole (Hedge Clippers). So what hope is there for the average citizen? The answer lies with campaign finance reform: matching campaign funds with some degree of public funds saves the taxpayer money by reducing pay to play and ensuring laws that favor citizens not corporation.

Thirty-seven states have early voting. Sixteen have automatic voter registration. Forty-nine have flexibility in party change affiliation and have only one primary for federal and state offices. New York has none of this. Remember voting day, snowy roads, the winter viruses that pop up, the shortened daylight? Shouldn’t police, fire fighters, emergency workers, commuters, mothers of young children, care givers, and seniors who are fragile have increased participation in voting?

Call your New York State Senators: Peter Harkham (914-241-4600) and Sue Serino (845-229-0106); your New York State Assembly Members: Did Barrett (845-454-1703), Kieran Lalor (845-221-2202), Jonathan Jacobsen (845-562-0888), and Kevin Cahill (845-338-9610) to tell them to enact laws that increase participation in voting.

Anne McCabe

Poughkeepsie Journal, December 9, 2018