The New York State Legislation advanced by the Senate Democratic Conference will establish:
- Early Voting: This Bill, S.7400 introduced by Senator Brian Kavanagh (D-26th District), Ranking Member on the Senate Elections Committee, would establish an Early Voting system to permit Eligible Voters in New York State to Vote in Person during a designated period prior to any Primary, Special, or General Election day. This Bill will also establish an Early Voting Fund to cover the Expenses of Early Voting so that Local Governments are not unfairly burdened.
- The Deceptive Practices and Voter Suppression Act: This Bill, S.2952 introduced by Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-35th District), creates a New Electoral Crime of Voter Suppression, punishable as a Misdemeanor.
- The Voter Empowerment Act: This Bill, S.3304 introduced by Senate Democratic Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris (D-12th District) creates a modern Voter Registration system that will Reduce Costs for Processing Voter Registrations and maintain Complete and Accurate Voter Registration Lists. This Legislation will help reduce the Inaccuracy and Disenfranchisement caused by Human Error while also helping to Prevent Fraud. The Voter Empowerment Act will also Automate Voter Registration for Eligible consenting Citizens at designated Government Agencies; Permit the Pre-Registration of Sixteen and Seventeen year-olds; Transfer the Registrations of New Yorkers who move within the State; provide for access to Voter Registration Records, the Registration of Eligible Citizens over the Internet; and move the Deadlines for voter Registration and Party Enrollment.
- Consolidation of Federal and State Primaries: This Bill, S.3562 introduced by Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-35th District), would Save Tax Payer Dollars and make State Primary Elections the same day as Federal Primary Elections. It also ensures that New York State’s Election Law complies with the Federal Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act.
- Constitutional Amendment to Repeal 10-Day Voter Registration Requirement: This Bill, S.2478A introduced by Senate Democratic Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris (D-12th District), is a Concurrent Resolution that Amends Section 5 of Article 2 of the Constitution to Eliminate the Ten Day Advance Voter Registration requirement. Once adopted, the Legislature would set Guidelines for this Provision.
- The Voter Friendly Ballot Act: This Bill, S.7538, introduced by Senator Brian Kavanagh (D-26th District) will enact changes to the Layout of the Ballot to be more accessible and easy to understand for Voters. This Legislation was carried by Senator Kavanagh when he served in the State Assembly, where it was Passed last year by a vote of 145-1.
- Prohibiting Election Districts from being Split On and Off Campus: This Bill, S.3092 introduced by Senator Kevin Parker (D-21th District) Prohibits Election Districts being Drawn in such a way that they are Partly On and Partly Off a College or University Campus or other Contiguous College or University property with 300 or more Registered Voters, excluding Inactive Voters. It would also require that the Poll Sites for Election Districts serving such concentrations of College or University Voters shall be on the Campus or College or University Property, or at a Site approved by the College or University.
- Change of Party Enrollment Reform: This Bill, S.5615 introduced by Senator Liz Krueger (D-28th District), would allow a Voter who has Changed their Enrollment from one Party to Another to Vote in a Primary Election unless the Change is Submitted during the Ninety days Prior to a Primary Election.
- Expansion of Affidavit Voting: This Bill, S.4074 introduced by Senator Martin Malavé Dilan (D-18th District), would allow for the Casting and Counting of Ballots by Voters, otherwise Eligible, when the Voter appears at the Wrong Election District but within the Proper County.
- Reduce Restrictions on Affidavit Voting: This Bill, S.1265 introduced by Senator Leroy Comrie (D-14th District) Eliminates the Requirement to include Previous Registration Address when applying for an Affidavit Ballot. The Bill also adds Language that Requires a Voter to substantially Comply with the Law regarding the Form and Filing of Affidavits and Affidavit Ballots.
- Uniform Closing Night Procedures Act: This Bill, S.7090 introduced by Senator Brian Kavanagh (D-26th District), Ranking Member on the Senate Elections Committee, would Streamline Process for Closing Poll Sites at the End of an Election Day to better maintain Integrity in the Process by ensuring an Orderly and Uniform Procedure.
- No-Fault Absentee Voting: This Bill, S.840, introduced by Senator Leroy Comrie (D-14th District) would Amend the State Constitution to allow for Any Voter to Request to Vote by Mail without Declaring Any Reason for doing so.
- Reduce Voter Registration Timeline Requirements: This Bill, S.7131, introduced by Senator Brian Kavanagh (D-26th District), will Lower the Statutory Registration Deadline from 25 to 15 days for Primary Elections and from 20 days to 10 days for the General Election. This corresponds in part with the Bill to allow for Same Day Registration via the proposed Constitutional Amendment and would be a Short-Term Fix while the Constitutional Amendment makes its way through the Legislative Process.
NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker