Encouraging College Voters, Majority Passes Bill Establishing Polling Sites On Campus
The New York State Senate has passed legislation (S2003/Oppenheimer) which will significantly improve voter participation among younger voters at college by providing for polling sites to be located on college campuses.
The Majority’s bill will allow potentially tens of thousands of college students in New York, who currently lack the means of travel to off-campus polling stations or who are dependent on a lengthy and confusing absentee ballot process, to now cast their vote and ensure their voice is heard.
The legislation would require colleges and universities to establish an on-campus polling site when the majority of eligible voters in that election district live on-campus.
Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck), Chair of the Senate’s Education Committee said, “I am pleased to sponsor this bill, which will protect the rights of students to participate in the electoral process. The legislation insures that polling places are not situated in locations that effectively preclude students from exercising their right to vote.”
Senator Brian X. Foley (D-Blue Point) said, “With this legislation, we are vastly expanding the number of college students who will go to the polls and cast a ballot. As we continue to make our electoral process more efficient, including college age voters is a top priority.”
Senator Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Queens), Chair of the Senate’s Higher Education Committee said, "This bill will enable college students to become engaged in the political process by voting. Hopefully, they will continue their interest and become more involved in governmental affairs."
Senate Majority Conference Leader John L. Sampson said, “Exercising our right to vote is how we build a government that works for the people. By providing college residents with easily accessible on-campus polling sites we are enhancing democracy and improving government.”