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Let NY Vote texts over 200k millennial voters before Election Day

PRESS RELEASE

NEW YORK, N.Y. -- In the days leading up to the New York State primary, over a hundred Common Cause/NY and Let New York Vote volunteers -- in person and virtually -- texted over 200,000 millennials, encouraging them to vote on Thursday and sharing information on the candidates, deadlines, and poll site locations.

Volunteers targeted young voters between the ages 18-34 in districts with competitive State Senate primaries.

"New York State's laws put up barriers for voters. Without same day voter registration and early voting, it's harder for people – especially millennials – to get to the polls," said Susan Lerner, Executive Director of Common Cause/NY. "Young people want to vote. Let NY Vote and our GenVote NY program are just giving them the extra push."

Below is a sample text:

"Hi BLANK! I'm a volunteer with Let NY Vote and GenVote NY. Thursday, September 13th is our state primary in NY. Your polling location is BLANK at BLANK. Can we count on you to vote?"

Last year, Common Cause/NY ran a smaller-scale text bank operation – texting 38,000 millennials -- for the 2017 citywide elections. as part of its GenVote NY project. Voter turn-out rate for those who responded to the texts nearly doubled from the 2016 election, jumping from 19.7% to 36.2% -- which is atypical for voters, regardless of age, in a non-presidential year.

Additionally, Let NY Vote and Common Cause/NY's GenVote NY project released a New York State Senate primary questionnaire to all candidates in contested districts across the state, asking them their positions on a range of voting rights issues.

You can view the responses to the questionnaire here.

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.

Common Cause/NY's GenVote NY project, originally started as a collabortion with Rock the Vote and numerouscommunity partners, seeks to mobilize and activate young voters (18-34), through registration, education and GOTV activities.