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voting reform

voting reform

  • de blasio voting charter

    (photo: Samar Khurshid/Gotham Gazette)


    The New York City Charter Revision Commission called by Mayor Bill de Blasio convened on Tuesday afternoon to collect expert testimony on ways to foster increased participation in municipal elections.

    Eleven of the commission’s 15 members sat at the hearing, which was divided into two parts, one focused generally on voting rights and election administration in the city, and a second centered on the ranked-choice voting system, otherwise known as instant runoff primaries, that may be proposed to voters later this

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  • fair vote sam

    Tuesday's press conference (photo: Samar Khurshid/Gotham Gazette)


    Several prominent Democratic elected officials and voting reform advocates on Tuesday assembled outside City Hall to call for instant runoff voting in citywide primary elections. Specifically, they said that Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Charter Revision Commission, which just began a series of public hearings across the city, should include it among the proposals it puts before voters on the ballot this November.

    Instant runoff voting, also known as ranked-choice voting, allows voters to rank primary

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  • Cuomo bill signing democracy

    Cuomo at Wednesday's bill-signing (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday held a ceremonial bill-signing, one of several since the state budget was approved, to tout the passage of new restrictions and disclosure requirements for political advertisements on social media. But the bill was a component of Cuomo’s larger Democracy Agenda, measures including voting and campaign finance reform that otherwise fell by the wayside during budget negotiations and seem unlikely to pass in the remaining months

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  • op ed carlucci

    State Senator David Carlucci, the author


    New York’s voting laws are woefully outdated and lag behind much of the rest of our country. Too many New Yorkers experience unfair and unnecessary restrictions when they wish to exercise their constitutional right to vote. Unsurprisingly, New York consistently ranks near the bottom in voter turnout when compared to other states.

    According to 24/7 Wall St., an average of only 59.2% of eligible New York voters voted in the presidential elections from 2000 through 2012. That makes New York 42nd among the 50

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  • Cuomo State of the State reforms

    Gov. Cuomo at his 2018 State of the State (photo: Philip Kamrass/Governor's Office)


    During his 2018 State of the State speech on Wednesday in Albany, Governor Andrew Cuomo spent little time on government ethics reform, but did address at somewhat greater length his proposals to increase access to the ballot box and change state campaign finance law.

    In sum, the “reform” portion of Cuomo’s remarks were relatively brief, though the governor did expand more on his proposals to change voting, campaign financing,

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  • 38198034236 bf971489f7 z

    Gov. Cuomo voting (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of the Governor)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo on Thursday unveiled his “Democracy Agenda,” a plan to create more transparency in political advertising and require online platforms to archive political ads, protect state elections from hacking threats, and enhance voting opportunities.

    The 13th proposal of the governor’s developing 2018 State of the State speech, the advertising transparency and cybersecurity initiatives are joined by three voting reform measures that were introduced by Cuomo ...

  • polling place

    Polling place (photo: Samar Khurshid/Gotham Gazette)


    As New York State’s archaic election and voting laws continue to dampen voter turnout, the New York City Council is about to take a step to encourage participation. The City Council’s governmental operations committee will vote on Tuesday, November 14 to approve a bill allowing online voter registration for city residents, Council Member Ben Kallos, chair of the committee, told Gotham Gazette on Thursday. The bill is then expected to pass the full City Council on Thursday.

    “With the historic low in

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  • bobbt carroll presser

    Assemblymember Robert Carroll at Monday's rally


    On the eve of Election Day 2017, a state Assembly member from Brooklyn held a press conference focused on voter engagement and turnout, but it wasn’t in support of his own candidacy -- he’s not up for reelection until next year -- or anyone else’s. Instead, Assemblymember Robert Carroll was talking about his push to allow 17-year-olds to vote.

    In the state capital of Albany, Carroll recently introduced a bill, the Young Voter Act, that would

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  • polanco bronxnet

    JC Polanco on BronxNet


    With candidates vying for votes ahead of New York City’s September primary and November general elections, many in and around campaigns know that the state’s antiquated election laws will, in part, ensure that a small percentage of potential voters will cast ballots among limited choices.

    One candidate, Juan Carlos Polanco, known as J.C., is currently the presumptive Republican nominee for Public Advocate and has released an extensive package of proposed reforms to New York voting laws.

    As a former member of the New York City Board of

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  • 32985722296 26b52ab3b7 z

    New Yorkers line up to vote (credit: Samar Khurshid/Gotham Gazette)


    New York City has roughly 6.6 million residents of voting age but only about 4.99 million registered voters, according to rough estimates from the American Community Survey and the state Board of Elections. The city’s municipal primary election is a little over a month away, on September 12, and ...

  • Cuomo podium

    Gov. Cuomo (photo: The Governor's Office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order Monday expanding the list of New York State agencies required to provide voter registration assistance and creating a task force to oversee implementation of the program.

    While current state and federal law requires the forms to be available at the Department of Motor Vehicles and certain social service agencies, Cuomo’s

    de Blasio voting distance

    De Blasio voting (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    On May 31 Mayor Bill de Blasio said that he and partners were “about to launch a major effort” to change state laws governing elections and voting in New York. ”I think people really want electoral reform in this state,” de Blasio told Gotham Gazette at an unrelated press conference. “And there’s a chance to do it, and it’s about creating the pressure needed to achieve it. So, we’re going to be doing a lot in the next few weeks on it.”

    In the subsequent days, de Blasio led two telephone

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  • ag schneiderman via schneiderman

    AG Eric Schneiderman (photo: @Schneiderman)


    New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has quickly become one of President Donald Trump’s leading opponents, using the levers of his office to litigate against Trump’s policies, and has put New York at the forefront of efforts to resist the new Republican administration’s agenda.

    Speaking at a Tuesday breakfast event hosted by the Association For A Better New York (ABNY), Schneiderman, a second-term Democrat, discussed his role in the Trump era, which has made his focus

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  • de Blasio voting

    Mayor de Blasio votes (photo: Samar Khurshid/Gotham Gazette)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio held a telephone town hall with constituents on Wednesday night focused on voting reform. It was the first step in what the mayor recently promised would be “a major effort” to see electoral reforms like early voting passed through the state Legislature before the end of session in Albany, which is June 21.

    Joining de Blasio as hosts of the call

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  • bk voters

    Brooklyn Voters Allliance Action (photo: Sam Raskin)


    Members of a new advocacy group, Brooklyn Voters Alliance Action, gathered outside Governor Andrew Cuomo’s New York City office Tuesday afternoon to deliver a petition urging the governor to take action on voting reforms.

    The 30 or so demonstrators highlighted five key points they would like the governor to address in the petition they presented, which they said had 1,500 signatures on it. The state has about two weeks to pass any new laws before the end of the legislative session in Albany and Brooklyn Voters,

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  • Cuomo voting 2015

    Gov. Cuomo votes (photo: The Governor's Office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo’s prediction that there is insufficient political will at the New York State Legislature to pass any significant voting reform measures this year may be coming to fruition.

    During the final weeks before the end of the legislative session, this year June 21 -- when lawmakers leave the Capitol and

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  • de blasio voter registration

    Mayor de Blasio registers voters (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Wednesday that he is about to “launch a major effort” to see voting and election reforms passed in Albany by the end of the legislative session, which runs until the middle of June.

    De Blasio, a Democrat running for reelection this year, has called for reforms like early voting and same-day voter registration that have stalled in the state capital. While the mayor has expressed his support for those and other changes to the state’s

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  • vote better ny lobbyist via nyc votes

    One Vote Better NY lobbyist (photo: @NYCVotes)


    Two charter buses idling in downtown Manhattan in the early hours of the morning on a weekday would usually be full of mismatched tourists from far-flung states and countries, waiting to gape at the Wall Street bull and his recently-placed female antagonist.

    That was not the case for the buses that departed Church Street this past Tuesday morning, which,

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  • vote better ny capitol

    Tuesday's rally (photo: @NYCVotes)


    A coalition of electoral reform activists were joined by Democratic state lawmakers during their annual pilgrimage to the New York State Capitol Tuesday to call for legislation that would remove barriers to the ballot and ensure that eligible New Yorkers are provided more opportunity to vote.

    “Vote Better NY” seeks common sense changes to New York's voting laws to ensure that more eligible New Yorkers make it to the polls. This year, the organization is advocating for a slew of bills, including early

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  • Cuomo Mujica David budget

    Gov. Cuomo, middle, with two top aides (photo: Philip Kamrass/Governor's Office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo forgot about government ethics reform. At a press conference Wednesday, the governor explained to reporters that state budget talks had fallen apart over a few core issues. He pointed out with pride, though, that virtually everything he had proposed earlier this year he had gotten the Legislature to agree on, other than two major sticking points related to criminal justice and affordable housing. Cuomo had to be reminded by his budget

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  • Cuomo press conference NYC

    Gov. Cuomo (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo all but confirmed Tuesday that major voting reforms he’s proposed would not be part of the new state budget, which is due by April 1.

    In January, Cuomo outlined the “Democracy Project” as part of his 2017 State of the State agenda, and included its widely prized measures like early voting, same-day voter registration, and an enhanced form of automatic voter registration in one of his budget bills. But, on Tuesday Cuomo indicated that the push to

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  • cuomo votes

    Governor Andrew Cuomo votes (photo: The Governor's Office on Flickr)


    The Trump administration has made a series of unsupported claims about voter fraud that strike at the heart and integrity of our democracy. Beyond potentially undermining voters’ faith in our electoral system, these claims distract from a very real issue: New York’s voter registration system is badly in need of modernization.

    Last month, President Trump repeated his unsubstantiated

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  • schneiderman

    Attorney General Schneiderman (photo: @AGSchneiderman)


    Last week, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman stood before a crowd of New Yorkers gathered at Federal Hall and announced the introduction of a comprehensive reform bill aimed at expanding voting rights in New York. I applaud his leadership on this issue but he misses a critical point.

    New York has some of the worst elections laws in the country. Among other backwards anti-voting provisions, New York has no early voting (unlike 37 states), a partisan board of elections, excuse-only absentee balloting,

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  • Schneiderman releases voting reform legislation

    Attorney General Schneiderman with voting reform advocates outside Federal Hall (photo: @AGSchneiderman)


    New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman unveiled an extensive voting reform package Wednesday that aims to streamline New York’s voter registration system, boost voter participation and increase voter turnout.

    Standing with elected officials, good government groups, union members, and voting reform advocates outside Federal Hall in Manhattan, Schneiderman released the legislation, called the ...