Tuesday, October 19

State Legislature approves a popular consultation that would facilitate voter access to New York elections

The elections in New York will include a new voting system in order of preference.

Photo: Edwin Martínez / Impremedia

Contrary to what has been happening in states like Georgia, Texas, Florida y Arizona, where in the past weeks they have been approved laws that will make it more difficult and complicated voter access to electoral processes, on New York State Legislature continues to promote new regulations, which seek to favor and increase New Yorkers’ turnout in elections.

Last Tuesday, just like you did already the Senate, the State Assembly approved a bill that promotes a referendum in November on two amendments to the State Constitution that will authorize the right to vote in absentia without having to present any kind of excuse, allowing to request voting ballots on the internet, as well as allow voters to register to vote on the day of the election.

These two measures are intended to increase the capacity for more New Yorkers to actively participate in elections.

This was announced Assembly President Carl Heastie, after highlighting that the initiatives received the green light, so that now the constitutional amendments will be put to the consideration of the voters of New York for their final approval.

“The majority of the Assembly is committed to making it easier for voters to exercise their constitutional right to vote”Said the president of the Lower House.

Heastie added that these bills “increase accessibility to the polls and they will continue with some of the security precautions that we began to take during the pandemic. As we see states reduce access to voting, New York will fight to make sure everyone eligible voters can make their voices heard”.

The president of the Electoral Law Committee of the Assembly, Latrice Walker, stressed that New York continues to seek mechanisms to increase access to democratic processes.

“Voting is an integral part of ensuring a functioning democracy, and it is part of our civic duty as Americans. The majority of the Assembly will continue to work to ensure that all eligible voters have access to the ballot, either in person or in absentia, and can make their voice heard, ”the policy commented.

The assembly He explained that under current electoral laws, New York State voters who intend to exercise their right to vote by absentee, sent by mail, must present a specific excuse why they will not be able to vote in person.

Assemblyman Clyde Vanel He assured that the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of voting by mail as a tool that facilitates and guarantees that voters exercise their electoral right.

“This bill will remove the requirements and barriers to receiving an absentee ballot and ensure New York voters can vote,” Vanel said.

Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn, promoter of the electoral change laws package, highlighted the importance of allowing the electoral ballot to vote by mail to be requested through the internet as well.

“These bills will make it easier for New Yorkers to vote using an absentee ballot,” the policy said. “By allowing voters to use electronic means to request a ballot and by allowing ballots postmarked on Election Day to be counted, we will help ensure that all the voices of the voters are heard and counted ”.

Key dates in the upcoming electoral process:

  • May 28, 2021: Last day to register to vote in New York (the date to change parties has already passed, which was February). You can register in person at a DMV office or with your county Board of Elections. There is one in each municipality. You can also request that a voter registration request form be mailed to you, through the state Board of Elections website, or by calling 1-800-FOR-VOTE. Another convenient way is to print a form on the Board of Elections page.
  • June 7, 2021: The deadline to request an absentee ballot. It can change to June 7 from current June 15. There is a relevant state bill that has passed through the Senate and Assembly, but Governor Andrew Cuomo has yet to sign it. If you wish to vote absentee or “by mail”, you can request your ballot now by calling 1-866-VOTE-NYC or by accessing the website https://nycabsentee.com/ Anyone can request an absentee ballot this year due to the ongoing pandemic
  • June 12, 2021: Early voting begins this day and will last until June 20
  • June 22, 2021: Official Day of the Primary Elections


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