New York has some of the weakest commitments to voting rights among blue states, with limited registration and voting opportunities. New York has a lot to do to improve voting rights. However, it should be commended for long voting hours and increasing attention to felon re-enfranchisement.
Contact your legislator using the FIND MY LEGISLATOR button below with this message of support for voting rights reform in New York.
Automatic Voter Registration- New York does not offer automatic voter registration.
RECOMMENDATION: Enact S1278, which would implement automatic voter registration in New York.
Online Voter Registration- New York offers online voter registration. The registration deadline is 25 days prior to Election Day.
Same-Day Registration- New York does not offer same-day registration.
RECOMMENDATION: S1048, which will allow for the necessary constitutional amendment to implement same-day registration in New York, has passed both houses of the New York legislature, clearing the first step in a multi-year process to implement same-day registration in New York.
Voter ID Requirement- No Voter ID is required to vote. First-time voters may be required to provide a photo ID if the ID they submitted during registration cannot be verified. Appropriate registration forms of identification include a driver’s license, state ID, social security number, utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check, or other government document with name and current address.
Early Voting- In January 2019, Governor Cuomo signed into law legislation that allows early voting in New York.
No Excuse Absentee- Voters may only vote absentee if they provide one of a small set of excuses: absence from the county on Election Day, illness or disability, status as a patient at a VA hospital, or incarceration other than felony or awaiting grand jury action.
RECOMMENDATION: S1049, which will implement the necessary constitutional amendment to remove required excuses for absentee voting, has passed both houses of the New York legislature, clearing the first step in a multi-year process to remove the required excuses for voting absentee in New York.
Mail-In Voting- Mail-in voting is only permitted in the context of the limited absentee voting process.
RECOMMENDATION: Move New York toward a mail-in vote state in line with practices in California, Oregon, and Washington.
Felon Re-Enfranchisement- Returning citizens have their voting rights restored upon completion of their prison time, after Governor Cuomo removed parolee voting restrictions. The order effecting this change may be subject to court challenges.
Voter Bill of Rights- New York has a clearly published voter bill of rights.
Polling Hours- New York has the longest statewide-mandated number of voting hours in the country. Polls are open from 6 am – 9 pm for a total of 15 hours of voting time.
Wait Time Service Standard- Like other states, New York does not have a wait time service standard. With few voting options due to the lack of early voting, New York critically needs to establish standards to limit wait times for voters.
RECOMMENDATION: Implement and monitor a wait time service standard for polling places in New York.
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