Zellnor Myrie

July 22, 2020

Automatic voter registration, online voter registration in NYC, and other reforms will expand and protect voting rights in NY

BROOKLYN -- New York Senate Elections Chair Zellnor Y. Myrie and the New York State Senate today passed several new voting reforms that will expand access to the ballot box in preparation for November’s general election. This legislative package builds on previous legislation passed to strengthen and expand New Yorkers’ voting rights.

The bills -- which include a “right to cure,” an allowance of non-postmarked ballots, and automatic voter registration -- will protect and expand voting rights in New York State and help ensure that every eligible New Yorker will have access to the ballot box.

Senator Zellnor Y. Myrie (D-20) said: “From the moment this Majority entered the Senate and passed a package of major voting reforms like early voting, we have continually improved and expanded voting rights in New York. Now, following the first primary election during COVID and the expanded use of absentee voting, these bills will begin the work of adjusting our elections to the new reality and ensuring the right to vote remains protected now and in future elections."

The bills included:

  • Senate Bill S.8370B: This legislation, sponsored by Senator Zellnor Myrie, will give voters notice of any deficiencies in their absentee ballot envelopes and an opportunity to fix them to ensure their votes can be counted.
  • Senate Bill S.6463: This legislation, sponsored by Senator Zellnor Myrie, authorizes online voter registration for the City of New York.
  • Senate Bill S.8783A: This legislation, sponsored by Senator Zellnor Myrie, temporarily allows the processing of absentee ballot applications prior to 30 days before the election.
  • Senate Bill S.8806: This legislation, sponsored by Senator Michael Gianaris, 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.
  • Senate Bill S.8015D: This legislation, sponsored by Senator Alessandra Biaggi, will define the term “illness” for the purposes of absentee voting to include instances where a voter is unable to appear personally at a polling place because there is a risk of contracting or spreading a disease-causing illness to the voter or to other members of the public.
  • Senate Bill S.8799A: This legislation, sponsored by Senator Michael Gianaris, temporarily provides that any absentee ballot shall be presumed to be timely even if it does not bear a dated postmark if such ballot was received and timestamped by the day after Election Day.
  • Senate Bill S.6886D: This legislation, sponsored by Senator James Skoufis, will require electors to vote for the Presidential and Vice Presidential candidate who received the highest number of votes in the state.
  • Senate Bill S.8796A: This legislation, sponsored by Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, temporarily allows certain party designations and nominations to be made via video teleconference.
  • Senate Bill S.8465A: This legislation, sponsored by Senator John Liu, will clarify that the use of alternate, anglicized or familiar names on election petitions and ballots is acceptable provided that such name is demonstrated to be commonly used to identify that person in the person’s community and that the use of such name is not intended to mislead voters or petition signers.
  • Senate Bill S.8782: This legislation, sponsored by Senator Neil Breslin, will require that in each county, the municipality with the largest population contain at least one early voting location.



Please direct inquiries to Senator Myrie’s Director of Communications, Jonathan Timm, at (313) 618-7005. jt.nysenate@gmail.com