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Early Voting Coalition releases video interviews with every day New Yorkers

STAFF REPORTS

NEW YORK, N.Y. -- Today the Let NY Vote coalition released a series of 30-second video interviews with a variety of New Yorkers, and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, about why they support early voting.

"It's time for New York to do what 37 other states have already done and pass early voting. It's a non-partisan no brainer that 67% of New Yorkers support. Common Cause joins with over 30 organizations from across the state in urging the legislature to include funding for early voting in the final budget and bring New York's antiquated system of elections into the 21st century," said Susan Lerner, Executive Director of Common Cause/NY.

The six videos are available here, and feature a veteran, a working parent, a working student, a rural resident, and a survivor of Hurricane Sandy.

Synopses below:
A veteran of the US Army, Na'ilah has called several states home while serving her country, but New York is the only state she's lived in that has denied its residents early voting.
After Hurricane Sandy, Far Rockaway residents like Carmela had to stand in line for hours to cast their vote.
In rural areas, Syracuse resident Megan explains that it's immensely time-consuming and challenging to get to the polls during limited voting hours. Early voting would make it easier for rural New Yorkers to cast their ballot.
As a working mother, Amanda usually has to arrange for childcare so she can get to the polls. Parents like Amanda shouldn't have to go to such great lengths to cast their votes.

It can be challenging for working students like Jamell to put in a day at school and time at work and still make it back to their neighborhoods to vote. Early voting would make it far easier to fit voting into the schedules of busy, hard-working New Yorkers.

Background
In February, Governor Cuomo announced an historic 30-day amendment to his proposed budget that will provide approximately $7 million to New York counties to offer early voting. The budget is due April 1st and will be voted on at the end of this week.
Early voting would allow eligible voters to cast ballots in-person days, sometimes weeks, before an election. Currently, 37 states already have some form of early voting, leaving New York as one of only 13 states without any means to vote early except via absentee ballot.

A Siena Poll released in February shows that 67% of New Yorkers, including 60% of Upstate New Yorkers, 48% of Republicans, and 65% of suburban New Yorkers, support early voting. This percentage is up two points from January
This year, Let NY Vote, formerly known as Easy Elections NY, formed as a statewide coalition of organizations & grassroots groups fighting to modernize New York's elections. The goal is to pass simple solutions in 2018 to improve our elections and remove barriers to registering and voting for all eligible New Yorkers.

The Let NY Vote coalition is made up of over thirty organizations, nonprofits, and labor unions, including Common Cause/NY, Public Citizen, New York State United Teachers, SEIU 32BJ, RWDSU, CWA District 1, as well as the statewide NAACP and the National Action Network, grassroots organizations, faith groups, civil liberties, reproductive and immigrant rights, criminal justice and re-entry groups, New American, and the LGBTQ community. A full list is available at letnyvote.org.