Issues: Elections

Senate Elections Committee to Hold Final Hearing this Month Introducing Proposals to Update and Reform the State's Poll Site Accessibility and Absentee Ballot Laws, and Poll Site Operations

WHEN: Thursday May 14th, 10 AM – 1 PM WHERE: Syracuse Common Council Chambers, 233 East Washington Street, City Hall 4th Floor, Syracuse, New York 

May 13, 2009

Senate Elections Committee Holds Hearing Introducing Proposals to Update and Reform the State's Poll Site Accessibility and Absentee Ballot Laws

Monday, the Elections Committee held the first of two hearings this month dedicated to soliciting public comment on a number of proposals to update and reform the state’s poll site accessibility and absentee ballot laws, and poll site operations. The May hearings in Albany (May 11) and Syracuse (May 14) are the second set in a series of five that will continue in June, September and November. Future topics include: campaign finance reform; Board of Elections oversight; additional election reform laws; and oversight of the November elections.  

May 11, 2009

Fostering A Vibrant Democracy Through Elections Reform

Voter turnout in 2008 tells the story of the state of registration and election laws in New York. According to data compiled by George Mason University, New York’s 58% turnout rate of voting eligible population for the 2008 general election was 43rd in the nation—or 7th worst.

New York’s laws governing voter registration and casting a ballot are among the most restrictive in the nation.  The deadline to register to vote is 25 days before an election, even though the limit under the state Constitution is 10 days. Unlike New York, 31 states offer early voting and a similar number allow no-excuse absentee voting.

Voter registration and other election-related laws matter because they have a direct impact on voter turnout, the lynchpin to a vibrant democracy.  Yet, as noted in The Right to Vote by Alexander Keyssar, a professor of at Harvard’s Kennedy School, voter registration laws at the turn of the 19th century were crafted in some states as a means to disenfranchise segments of the population that included minorities, the less educated and the poor.

May 6, 2009
May 14, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
April 23, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM


Related information

March 13, 2009


Senators Seward and Griffo: Budget Held Hostage To Politicians’ Private AgendasWith New York State facing a grave fiscal crisis, State Senators James L. Seward (R/C/I- Oneonta) and Joseph A. Griffo (R/C/I- Rome) today called for urgent, non-stop action to resolve the serious flaws in Governor David Paterson’s proposed 2009-2010 state budget.

February 17, 2009

Sen. Brian X. Foley Celebrates Inauguration With Local Students

Hundreds of William Floyd High School students take part in festivitiesMastic Beach, NY – As millions of citizens and hundreds of elected officials from around the country gathered in Washington D.C to celebrate the historic inauguration of President Barack Obama, Sen. Brian X. Foley joined students at the William Floyd School District as they took part in the festivities. Sen.

January 20, 2009
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