Issues: Voter Registration

Senator Michael Gianaris and Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh Call for Universal Voter Registration and Other Reforms

Proposal Would Enroll More Than 2 Million New Voters in NY State


NEW YORK – In the aftermath of National Voter Registration Day, Senator Michael Gianaris (D-Queens) and Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh (D-Manhattan) called for the enactment of their Voter Empowerment Act which would automatically register every eligible citizen to vote through the Department of Motor Vehicles and other government agencies, only excluding those who affirmatively opt out. This reform would newly register more than two million New Yorkers to vote.


September 24, 2015

Senator Valesky Hosts Community Resources Fair

State Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) is hosting a Community Resources Fair on Thursday, June 25, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. to raise awareness of the many community services available through various governmental and nonprofit organizations. The agencies listed below will have tables at the fair and provide important information on health care and health insurance, financial planning for college, emergency preparedness and fire safety, family planning, housing, voting, small business development, veterans services, and more, as well as offer giveaways. A representative from the Office of the State Comptroller will assist attendees with Unclaimed Funds searches.

May 28, 2015

Chanukah is the celebration of Miracles!

"Chanukah is the celebration of miracles, a reminder that all things are possible," Senator Parker said.  "As you celebrate the spirit of Chanukah with friends and family, I wish you health, happiness and good fortune." The holiday celebrates a legendary victory of the Maccabees, a band of Jews, over a Greek army that occupied the Holy Land.  After the battle, the victorious Maccabees found only a one day supply of oil in the temple to light the lamps.  But the oil burned miraculously for eight days, the story says.

December 17, 2014

Senator Griffo's Weekly Column #34: Why You Should Vote

Oct. 10 is the last day to register to vote and be eligible for this year’s election.

In my last column, I encouraged you to register to vote by dispelling some common misconceptions. This week, I’m going to argue why you should make it to the ballot box on Tuesday, Nov. 4.

Naysayers argue that their vote doesn’t make a difference.

If you’re a statistician, that viewpoint has some merit. In a 2001 study, two economists found that one of every 15,000 votes cast in state legislative elections “mattered in the sense that they were cast for a candidate that officially tied or won by one vote.”

But that ignores the reality that votes, even those cast for a losing candidate, do have an impact.

October 2, 2014

Senator Griffo's Weekly Column #33: Myths vs. Facts Regarding Voter Registration

“Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote,” writer George Jean Nathan once observed.

Election Day is Nov. 4. To participate, however, you’ll need to be registered to vote by Oct. 10.

I know from reading research and talking to people that there are several reasons why people don’t vote. First, I’d like to tackle some misconceptions about registering to vote.

Myth: If I register to vote, I’ll be called for jury duty.

September 25, 2014

Legislative Notebook: State Initiatives of Interest to Veterans

Here is a partial listing of bills I have supported this session to aid New York’s former servicemen and servicewomen. These initiatives will now go to Governor Cuomo for final action.

-- Legislation I co-sponsored was passed by both houses (S.7839, first introduced as S.4714)) to extend the Military Service Credit Law of 2000 to all veterans who have served in the military. Right now, public employees who served in the armed forces may purchase up to three years of pension credit only if their military service occurred during specified conflicts. This measure will expand this opportunity to public employee veterans who also served their country in peacetime.

June 26, 2014

MCC Voter Registration Drive

I was pleased to join students and facility from MCC today for their voter registration drive, a grassroots effort to get more students registered to vote on National Voter Registration Day. It was great meeting with so many interested students and discussing the importance of voting with them. 

September 24, 2013


Calling the latest voting literature from the Board of Elections “ridiculous,” Senator Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn) is urging constituents who may be confused about their polling site locations to contact his office for assistance.

“The mail from the Board of Elections is poorly-designed, confusing, and looks like junk-mail,” said Senator Felder. “I suspect most prospective voters will end up tossing it in the garbage without realizing that it contains important content. It’s just ridiculous.”

August 8, 2013

Senator Gianaris Promotes Voter Empowerment

(Queens, New York) Senator Michael Gianaris, a long-time advocate of reforming the state’s electoral system, cheered a recent electoral reform package proposed by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

“I am thrilled to see Governor Cuomo is taking real steps to empower the voters of our state by making it easier to register to vote and encouraging voter participation,” said Senator Gianaris. “Reforming the voter registration process will allow more New Yorkers to participate in the most fundamental aspect of our democracy, and thereby improve government from the bottom up.”

June 26, 2013

Senate Co-Leader Jeff Klein and the Independent Democratic Conference Release Comprehensive Plan to Overhaul Campaign Finance Laws and Implement Comprehensive Public Financing System for State Elections


April 12, 2013 - Today, Senate Co-Leader and Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeffrey D. Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester) and members of the IDC proposed sweeping reforms to New York State’s current campaign finance laws. The IDC’s proposal would introduce a comprehensive system of public campaign financing under which all qualifying candidates would be eligible to receive public matching funds. Under the IDC’s plan, candidates opting not to participate in the public financing system would be required to participate in a completely overhauled campaign finance system.


April 12, 2013

Department of Financial Services to Speek Resolution of Insurance Claims in Areas Affected by SANDY

The NYS Department of Financial Services (DFS) is setting new rules to speed the processing of insurance claims in areas affected by Storm Sandy. The new regulation reduces the amount of time an insurer can delay its decision on a claim, and requires insurers to report to the Department on how many claims it is delaying and the reasons for the delays.

February 27, 2013

Governor Cuomo Outlines 2013-2014 Executive Budget to Maintain Fiscal Responsibility and Continue to Invest in Economic Growth

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo unveiled the proposed 2013-14Executive Budget and Management Plan that builds on two years of balanced, fiscally responsible budgeting and invests in economic development, education reform, rebuilding after Superstorm Sandy, provides support to local governments and school districts, and includes no new taxes or fees.

Highlights of the Executive Budget:

· Eliminates $1.3 billion budget gap with no new taxes or fees. The expected gap for 2013-14 was projected to be $17.4 billion prior to the last two responsible budgets.

· Holds spending increases below 2 percent for third consecutive year.

January 23, 2013

Gianaris Bill aims at boosting Voter Participation

Gianaris-Kavanagh's Bill (Voter Empowerment Act) aims at facilitating the registration process and initiating more participation in the elections. It includes, among others, preregistration of 16- and 17- year olds, online registration of voters and  automatic registration tranfer of New Yorkers who move within the State.

State Senator Michael Gianaris (D–Astoria) emerged last week as part of a nonpartisan, statewide group answering Governor Andrew Cuomo’s call to increase voter participation as the 2012 election season draws near.


Gianaris and Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh have introduced legislation that would amend the state’s election law to streamline and make more efficient the voter registration process in the state.


November 14, 2012

Attorney General Announces Election Day Hotline to Help Ensure Access for Voters Across New York State

New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced an Election Day Hotline to help ensure that minority-language voters, people with disabilities and others are able to cast an effective ballot during the November 6th general election. The Attorney General urged voters to call the Office’s Hotline at 800-771-7755 or email at any time between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. to report problems at the polls.

November 5, 2012

Voter Empowerment Act Introduced

An article by the Queens Gazette talks about the introduction of the Voter Empowerment Act, which aims to optimize the voter registration process in New York.

State Senator Michael Gianaris, Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh and the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law joined with good government and advocacy groups on June 7 to announce the introduction of the Voter Empowerment Act of New York, a nonpartisan initiative to increase voter participation as the 2012 election season commences. This legislation would amend the election law to update, streamline and make more efficient the voter registration process in New York.




June 25, 2012

Law could simplify voter registration

The Queens Chronicle wrote an article about the Voter Empowerment Act of New York bill, which Senator Gianaris introduced along with Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh and the Brennan Center for Justice. Senator Gianaris believes this proposal could save the state and its counties hundreds of thousands of dollars per election.

State Sen. Mike Gianaris (D-Astoria), Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh (D-Manhattan) and the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law introduced the Voter Empowerment Act of New York bill on June 7.


June 25, 2012

Gianaris to Introduce New York’s Voter Modernization Bill This Week

New America Media did a Question & Answer with Senator Gianaris in advance of his press conference announcing the Voter Empowerment Act of New York.

NAM: What is your national overview of the increasingly heated debate over voter suppression and voting rights at this point in America’s history?


June 11, 2012

Senator Gianaris speaks at press conference announcing the Voter Empowerment Act of New York

Senator Gianaris speaking at yesterday's press conference he held with Assemblymember Kavanagh and the Brennan Center announcing the Voter Empowerment Act of New York.


June 7, 2012

New York Could Add 1 Million Voters in 2013

According to a report by New America Media, new legislation that would modernize New York state's voter registration system could add one million voters to the rolls. Senator Gianaris is the co-sponsor of the legislation.

An estimated one million potential voters could be added to New York state’s rolls should forthcoming legislation be enacted, according to the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law. State Sen. Michael Gianaris, the co-sponsor of legislation that would modernize New York’s voter registration system, said his bill “will make it easier for people to vote.” He said he plans to introduce the bill by early June at the latest and, if adopted, it would take effect in 2013.


May 29, 2012

Governor Cuomo in Syracuse to Discuss Budget

I was pleased to join Governor Cuomo in discussing budget accomplishments for Central New York. Click the link for more details.

Gov Cuomo CNY Budget Presentation.pdf

April 5, 2012
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