NYDLC & Pro-Voter Advocates Press Albany for Election Modernization in April 1st NYS Budget

The New York Democratic Lawyers Council (NYDLC) is calling on all New Yorkers who support protecting voting rights and modernizing our elections to take action by making 11 phone calls to key New York lawmakers every day until the April 1st state budget deadline, and to encourage those in their networks and other like-minded groups to ask their members to do the same. 

For Immediate Release, Mar. 23, 2017
Contact: (866) NYDLC-01; [email protected]

       Albany lawmakers are currently negotiating the Fiscal Year 2017-18 New York State Budget which is due on April 1st. Governor Cuomo's Executive Budget proposal (Budget Bill A3010 Part N) includes critical election law reform priorities like Early Voting, Automatic Voter Registration at the DMV, and Same-Day Voter Registration (one-stop voting). The Assembly (Budget Bill A3005B, Parts BB & DD) has also proposed similar early voting and registration modernization reforms. However, lawmakers have yet to include corresponding state funding to enact these proposals, making it unlikely that State and County Boards of Elections would embrace these much-needed reforms. 

       In order to show lawmakers that there is broad support for enacting and funding these proposals in the Apr. 1st NYS budget, which may represent the best 2017 opportunity to modernize New York elections, NYDLC has released an easy to use phone and email script and is asking all voting rights advocates to make 11 phone calls to key New York lawmakers each day between now and April 1st. 

       After several years of failing to modernize our election laws, New York's poor election turnout and shameful voter registration and election day administration issues reached a fever pitch in 2016. These reforms are popular amoing New York community leaders. On Monday, March 13th, New York's women leaders rallied in Albany to commemorate 100 years of suffrage and call for funding and enactment of these reforms in the budget. 135 women and organizations, including NYDLC leadership signed onto a letter requesting that state leaders include funding to make these proposals a 2017 reality.

       Despite New York’s role as a bastion of diversity and progressivism, New York’s track record in the area of voting rights is disappointing. In the 2016 Presidential Election New York ranked 41st in turnout. In the 2014 midterms, only 29% of New York’s voting-age citizens voted—the state’s lowest turnout in 40 years. As other states have embraced modernization, technology, and convenient pro-voter reforms to both voter registration and election administration, New York has been left in the dust. We must do better. We must fight against voter suppression and restrictive voting laws.

       On Sunday, March 19th, hundreds of New Yorkers called for funding and enacting election reform in the budget at the Battery Park Rally to Resist Voter Suppression, which was organized by a coalition of good government and community groups including Common Cause/NY, SEIU 32bj, the NY Immigration Coalition, TWU 100, Hispanic Federation, The Brennan Center, NYC Votes, Make the Road New York, 2 Hours A Week, Brooklyn NAACP, Womens City Club of NY, Public Citizen, and others. 

       The New York Democratic Lawyers Council (NYDLC) is a coalition of attorneys and voting rights advocates who share the common goal of protecting each citizen’s right to vote by ensuring that all who are eligible can register easily, vote conveniently and without intimidation, and that all votes are counted accurately by reliable voting systems. You can learn more about NYDLC here and support NYDLC with your generous contribution in any amount here

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