New York ranked 41st in the country for Voter Turnout in the 2016 General Election, with just more than 57% of the “voting-Eligible Population” casting Ballots, according to a new Report.
The report from Nonprofit VOTE, a Boston-based group that helps Nonprofit organizations with Voter participation, and the U.S. Elections Project shows that New York improved its turnout ranking by three spots compared to the 2012 General Election.
Nationwide, Minnesota ranked highest in terms of turnout, with 74.8% of the Voting-Eligible population showing up at the Polls. Hawaii was worst, with 43% turnout.
The U.S. Elections Project, run by University of Florida Professor Michael McDonald, uses Voting-Eligible Population, determined using Census numbers and other factors, as its preferred metric to determine Turnout rather than the number of Registered Voters, which is a smaller pool.
The difference between the voting-Eligible population and number of Registered Voters is roughly 2.1 million Voters.
If New York turnout is measured by comparing the number of Ballots cast against the number of Registered Voters as of Nov. 1st, which hit a new high heading into the November Election, turnout was 67%, just higher than 65% in 2012 but lower than the 71% in 2008, State Board of Elections data show.
The turnout in a Presidential year was remarkably better than in the 2014 Midterms and Gubernatorial Election. Twenty-nine percent of the Voting-Eligible population turned out for that Election, making the Empire State a basement dweller with the 49th best Turnout in the Nation, according to U.S. Elections Project data.
The Report Advocates for Election Reforms that include allowing Same-Day Registration, which 14 States and the District of Columbia offer, and Automatic Voter Registration.
Some New York Lawmakers have sought changes in Law to enact both Reforms, in addition to others, but so far have been unsuccessful in their efforts.
“Across the country we see the disastrous impact of voter suppression laws, especially for communities of color,” a group of 135 Women Legislators and Advocates wrote to top Lawmakers and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo earlier this week as they pushed for Early Voting and Automatic Registration. “But here in New York, we have our own kind of voter suppression laws — registration laws that are so antiquated that they are ineffective, or worse, negatively affecting New Yorkers’ ability to participate in their democracy.”
Cuomo has included in his State Budget proposal provisions to enact Early Voting, automatic Registration through the State Department of Motor Vehicles and Same-Day registration.
In its One-House Budget resolution, the State Senate did not take a position on those proposals.
The Assembly proposes its own Early Voting and Online Registration/Agency-Assisted Registration Legislation. A version of early voting Legislation was approved last year but has not yet been voted on in 2017.
CLICK HERE to read the 35 page Report.
NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker