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Early voting not in budget; Let NY Vote demands action

STAFF REPORTS


NEW YORK, N.Y. -- Today, Albany lawmakers finalized the 2018-18 New York State budget without funding for early voting.Coalition demands early voting get done by June
In response, the Let NY Vote coalition issued the following statement:

"Albany politicians have again missed a major opportunity to improve access to fundamental rights for all New Yorkers by excluding early voting from the final budget. 37 other states already allow voters this right, which 67% of New Yorkers support. The continued need for major reform whether it's at the ballot box, on criminal justice issues, or reproductive health, reflects a failure of leadership at all levels. Lawmakers need to get early voting done this session or face the consequences in the fall."

Background

In February, Governor Cuomo announced an historic 30-day amendment to his proposed budget that would provide approximately $7 million to New York counties to offer 12 days of early voting. The Assembly's proposed budget also included funding for 8 days of early voting. It was not included in the Senate's.

Early voting was not included in the 2018-19 final budget.

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 www.letnyvote.org