Tuesday, August 18th, marks a momentous day when on that date 100 years ago, the United States ratified the 19th Amendment, granting voting rights to women around the country. State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. acknowledged these women and their fight to gain the right to vote by highlighting recently passed legislation improving voting accessibility for all.
For decades, the women’s suffrage movement, notably led by Susan B. Anthony, fought to give women the constitutional right to vote. On August 18, 1920, that amendment was ratified into the Constitution, bringing even more people into the voting process and making the United States and its elected officials more representative of the people who live there.
“August 18th is a day to celebrate the bravery and steadfastness of these woman suffragists who put everything on the line in their fight to gain the right to vote,” Addabbo said. “While the 19th Amendment granted women the right to vote, it did not include people like women of color. It was though a major step forward for moving the country towards a better and more inclusive democracy, a movement which began right there in New York.”
During the 2020 legislative session, the New York State legislature passed the following bills aimed at making voting more accessible:
- S.8806 will implement the New York Automatic Voter Registration Act of 2020 and create an automatic voter registration system through qualified New York State government agencies and departments;
- S.8370B will give voters notice of any deficiencies in their absentee ballot envelopes and an opportunity to fix them, ensuring their votes will be counted;
- S.8015D will define the term “illness” for the purpose of absentee voting to include instances where a voter is unable to appear personally at a polling place because of the risk of contracting or spreading a disease-causing illness to the voter or other members of the public;
- S.8799A would temporarily provide that any absentee ballot shall be presumed to be timely even if it does not bear a dated postmark if such a ballot was received and timestamped by the day after Election Day;
- S.8783A temporarily allows the process of absentee ballot applications prior to 30 days before the election;
- S.8796A temporarily allows certain party designations and nominations to be made via a video teleconference; and
- S.8782 will require that in each county, the municipality with the largest population contain at least one early voting location.
“It is your duty as an American to vote, and it is our responsibility as elected officials to give our constituents easier access to vote,” the Senator added. “In the spirit of these brave women, I have supported these pieces of legislation that will help bring access to voting to more people across New York and allow them to participate in their democracy.”