ALBANY, N.Y. – Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris and Assembly Member Karines Reyes announced new legislation (S.7394/A.7632) today to expand early voting options to include an Early Vote by Mail choice for all New Yorkers.
“Voting is a fundamental right and the easier we make it to vote, the healthier our democracy will be,” said Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris. “I am proud the State Senate continues to build on its important work of expanding access to the ballot box for all New Yorkers.”
“As voting rights continually come under in state legislatures across the state, our state can take a bold step in protecting the rights of New Yorkers seeking to access the ballot box,” said Assembly Member Karines Reyes, R.N. “I am pleased to sponsor the New York Early Mail Voter Act with State Senate Deputy Leader Gianaris to ease the burdens that voters face and increase voter participation in our democracy.”
The bill would give all New Yorkers the option of Early Voting by mail. While the state constitution requires a prescribed excuse for Election Day absentee voting, it does not constrain the Legislature from enacting a unique process for Early Voting. Similar proposals have been enacted and survived challenges in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.
New Yorkers would request an Early Voting ballot from their local Board of Elections and it would need to be returned before the close of polls on Election Day.
Daniella Ballou-Aares, CEO & Co-Founder of the Leadership Now Project said, “Having the option to vote by mail is vital for busy New Yorkers, and a crucial modernization that 35 states have already adopted. Leadership Now looks forward to working to support speedy passage of this important measure.”
Julie Samuels, President & Executive Director of Tech:NYC said, “No-excuse vote by mail is a win-win — it not only increases voter participation by making it easier for those with work or family obligations to vote, but it also eases the burden on election officials by reducing the demand on Election Day. We are thrilled to support Senator Gianaris’ efforts to ensure New York joins the majority of states already incorporating no-excuse absentee voting.”