Sen. Gianaris Pushes His Voter Empowerment Act on Heels of Repeated Attacks on Voting Rights

Gianaris Legislation Would Improve Voter Participation by Removing Obstacles to Voting

ALBANY, N.Y. – Senator Michael Gianaris announced a renewed push for two of his bills aimed at improving New Yorkers’ access to the ballot box. The bills include his Voter Empowerment Act, which would streamline voter registration systems, and a constitutional amendment to eliminate the 10-day advance registration requirement.

“At a time in our country when voting rights are under assault from all corners, New York must live up to its reputation as a progressive leader,” said Senator Michael Gianaris. “Access to the ballot box should be easy and fair. I urge my colleagues to enact these proposals as soon as possible to remove obstacles to voting.”

The Voter Empowerment Act, S.3304, would establish Automatic Voter Registration to make sure every eligible citizen is on the voter rolls; reduce unfair deadlines for voter registration and party enrollment; permit the pre-registration of sixteen and seventeen year-olds; transfer the registrations of New Yorkers who move within the state; and provide for access to voter registration records and the registration of eligible citizens over the Internet.

The Constitutional Amendment, S.2478A, would eliminate the ten-day advance voter registration requirement. Once adopted, the Legislature could allow for same-day registration. 

These bills are part of a larger package of bills assembled by the Senate Democratic Conference which will improve access to the ballot box, reduce the cost of elections on localities, and improve the health of New York’s democracy.

Sen. Gianaris joined Senate Democrats in issuing a report detailing where New York stands compared with other states on issues like early voting, same day registration, combatting voter disenfranchisement, and other pro-voter issues. The full report is available here: http://bit.ly/2n3ynZm.