Thanks to State Senator Zellnor Myrie, Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and all New York legislators who passed crucial election reform bills yesterday! Years of work by activists like Let NY Vote and a powerful volunteer effort from NKD and other clubs made this possible: by electing a new Democratic majority with a mandate for reform.
Once Gov. Cuomo signs these bills, NY will get:
- Early voting, starting 10 days before every election
- A single June primary day for local, state, and federal elections to replace our confusing double primary system
- Pre-registration for 16- and 17-year-olds so they can register while in school or applying for a driver's license and vote when they turn 18 without any additional paperwork
- Easier voter registration changes when New Yorkers move to a new address
Two other bills include proposed changes to the New York State Constitution, so they will need to pass again in two years and then pass a voter referendum, but if they succeed, we will get same-day voter registration and no-excuse absentee voting.
There’s still more work to do: New York could restore voting rights to parolees, let voters change party registration without waiting a year, implement electronic poll books and automatic voter registration, and introduce Instant Runoff Voting (also known as Ranked Choice Voting) to give voters fairer options in crowded races. But these reforms are an important step towards making sure every New Yorker has a voice in our elections.
And in the meantime, we're proud to have stood behind Senator Myrie in his campaign in 2018 and can't wait to see what else he and Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins do next.