Fund Early Voting
Why is this a priority in 2019? We fought hard to give busy New Yorkers more time to vote. And we won. New Yorkers will now have nine days of early voting before every election. Now the State must provide dedicated funding, and not ask counties to rely on other cost savings, to ensure seamless implementation.
How much money is needed? Different sources cite different amounts — above $20 million — but the main point is counties need dedicated funding to cover start-up and implementation costs for 2019, since county budgets were set before the law passed.
What about savings from combined primaries? They won’t go into effect until 2020 while Early Voting & start-up costs begin now.
electronic poll books
What is it? Electronic poll books are electronic versions of paper-based voter rolls.
Why is this a priority in 2019? Some counties will want to use e-poll books during an election and as they implement early voting. E-poll books have already shown they make voting faster and less error prone. Much like funding early voting, localities need a true partner in Albany and to receive dedicated state funding.
Status: In NYS Senate elections committee. In NYS Assembly, reported from the Elections committee to the Ways and Means committee on January 28, moving one step closer to a full vote.
Voter friendly ballots
What is it? Ballots in New York can be confusing and difficult to read. The Voter Friendly Ballot Act, written in consultation with specialists in the fields of graphic design, user experience, and disability accommodation would clean up our ballot.
Why is this a priority in 2019? New Yorkers should be able to vote with clear, legible and easy to understand ballots.
Status: Passed in the Assembly! Currently in the NYS Senate elections committee.
Voting rights for people on parole
What is it? The restoration of voting rights for people on parole needs to be codified in law, so that restoration becomes an automatic process.
Why is this a priority in 2019? Last year, the Governor issued an executive order granting 30,000 voting pardons to people on parole allowing them to vote, but this does not go far enough.
Status: In the NYS Senate elections committee.
Automatic Voter Registration
What is it? Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) would automatically register eligible New Yorkers to vote when they interact with a government agency (i.e., the DMV, Department of Health), unless they opt out.
Why is this a priority in 2019? Participating in our democracy should never be an opt-in process, and AVR could turn more than one million New Yorkers into one million new voters.
What should it look like in New York? No two states are the same, so AVR looks different across the country. New York needs a model that is implemented at multiple government agencies and provides adequate safeguards to protect our most vulnerable populations.
Flexibility to change party affiliation
What is it? In New York, the current deadline to change party affiliation is 11 months before the primary, which is the most restrictive deadline in the country.
Why is this a priority in 2019? The change of party deadline must be shortened so people can make an informed decision when voting. Our restrictive deadline combined with a closed primary system disenfranchises countless voters every year.
Status: There is a bill in the Assembly Election Law Committee.