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Let NY Vote convenes first ever "People's Hearing" on voting rights

STAFF REPORTS

NEW YORK, N.Y. -- As the Legislature considers applicants to appoint to the Office of the Attorney General, the Let NY Vote Coalition held the first ever "People's Hearing" to elevate the voice of voters. The hearing proceeded a lobby day where every day New Yorkers from across the state met with lawmakers to emphasize the need for accessible, safe, secure elections for all eligible voters.
The coalition made the following statement:

"Voting is a right, not a privilege, but New York's elections leave out potential voters who have to contend with a rigid, outdated, and punitive system. Lawmakers should be investing in 'small-d' democratic reforms like early voting, automatic voter registration, and re-enfranchisement for people on parole to bring New York in line with more than half the country where elections are more accessible, representative, and secure."

The hearing covered the LNYV's 5 top priorities:
• Early Voting
• Automatic Voter Registration
• Flexibility to Change Party Affiliation
• Pre-registration of 16 and 17-year olds
• Restoring Voting Rights to People on Parole
Speakers also drew attention to the fact that lawmakers rarely convene formal hearings, with the exception of budget related hearings. When they do, committee staff solicits public testimony by invitation only, and rarely address the details of pending bills.

Background
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.