Voting Rights and Voter Mobilization

Rock the Absentee: Vote by Mail for Primary Election Day this June 23rd
 

Voting Booths

NYPIRG is committed to ensuring that political participation is available and accessible to all eligible New Yorkers. Over the past four decades, NYPIRG’s non-partisan voter mobilization campaign has guarded and fought to expand the rights of voters in New York through community outreach, advocacy, media work and litigation. Our work has resulted in:

  • Thousands of new voters registered every year.
  • An expansion to the state’s “Motor Voter” law, which requires all state agencies to offer a voter registration option at the point of using the agency.
  • Sample ballots available online to help familiarize voters and speed up election day lines.
  • Inclusion of email addresses on New York City voter registration forms.
  • Student IDs permitted as a form of voter identification and more polling sites on college campuses.
  • Published reports detailing conditions at polling sites.

Still, New York’s voter registration and voter participation rates are anemic. A U.S. Elections Project analysis showed New York to have among the five worst turnout rates in the nation among eligible voters. New York must take immediate action to address systematic problems that disenfranchise voters and remove barriers that suppress voter turnout.

NYPIRG supports voter reforms, including:

  • Automatic voter registration and automatic updates to enrollment information of citizens interacting with all state and local government agencies.
  • Allowing voters to register and vote on Election Day. In the interim, New York State should shorten the registration and change of enrollment deadlines to 10 days before the election, the current minimum under the State Constitution.
  • Elimination of the patronage-controlled Boards of Elections, starting with the merit selection of permanent Board employees across the state.
  • Facilitating registration updates when a voter moves within the state.
  • Allowing 16 and 17 year olds to pre-register to vote.
  • Codifying case law with respect to students voting from a campus-area address.
  • Guidelines for better ballots. Poor ballot design can affect every voter at a poll site. Miniscule fonts, unnecessary graphics and unreadable directions result in spoiled ballots and longer wait times for all.
  • Improved poll worker performance. Voters should come first on Election Day. Unfortunately, for too many, the patronage structure of the Boards puts party loyalty first and public service second. New York can improve poll site conditions immediately by offering time off for state and city employees working the polls, and professionalizing poll worker training so that only qualified and trained staff work the polls.
Everyone to Mayor: We Need 40 Miles of Dedicated Bus Lanes Now  (Streetsblog, May 28, 2020)
Dominicanos USA inicia campana informacion elecciones 23 junio en NY  (El Jaya, May 25, 2020)
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul With A COVID-19 Update  (WAMC, May 22, 2020)
Will the U.S. Postal Service Survive the Trump Administration?  (WAMC, May 18, 2020)
The Legislature May Be Starting Up  (WAMC, May 11, 2020)
Blair Horner discusses the New York State budget amid the Covid-19 crisis on The Capitol Connection  (WAMC, May 7, 2020)
Commuter concerns from first overnight subway shutdown amid COVID-19  (Pix11, May 6, 2020)
It Looks Like Big Cuts To The State Budget, But Who Should Pay?  (WAMC, May 4, 2020)
NY lawmakers pitch coronavirus bills, hold hearings during stalled legislative sessions  (New York Daily News, May 3, 2020)
NYPIRG official denounces Danskammer project  (Mid Hudson News, April 30, 2020)
Transit Watchdogs: Raiding MTA Taxes Will Threaten A Federal Bailout  (Streetsblog, April 30, 2020)
Earth Week 2020  (WAMC, April 30, 2020)
Want a chauffeur? Join the de Blasio administration  (City and State, April 30, 2020)
Legislators, advocates meet virtually to celebrate recent victories on 50th anniversary of Earth Day  (The Legislative Gazette, April 23, 2020)
Public interest, advocacy groups call on state Legislature to resume session on urgent matters  (Albany Times-Union, April 20, 2020)
NYPIRG Wants Lawmakers To Address Pandemic  (Spectrum News, April 20, 2020)
New York area's Earth Day upended by coronavirus  (Politico, April 21, 2020)
A good time to rethink the student loan system  (The Times-Herald Record, April 19, 2020)
State lawmakers may not meet again before legislative session ends in June  (News 12 Long Island, April 13, 2020)
NY Allows "No Excuse" Voting By Mail  (WAMC, April 13, 2020)
News Archive
NYPIRG Joins Over 50 Organizations in Calling for New York to Reclaim the Stock Transfer Tax
Rock the Absentee: Vote by mail for Primary Election Day 6/23
NYPIRG Statement on NY Attorney General's Lawsuit on the EPA Dirty Water Rule
NYPIRG Urges Governor Cuomo and Lawmakers to Return to Session and Act on Key Issues
Letter: Good Government Groups Call for Postponement of April Primary
Reformers Urge Government to Adopt New Measures to Do The People's Business
Local Elected Officials Call for Increased Water Funding
Policy Paper - Higher Education and Its Eroding Affordability Over the Decade
Civic Organizations Unveil New Website in Push to Get Albany to Support New, Independent Ethics Watchdog
Release: NYPIRG, along with legislators and consumer, public health and environmental organizations call for protections against antibiotic-resistant "Superbugs"
News Release: NYPIRG Urges Greater Access to Early Voting Sites
NYPIRG and Good Government Groups Issue Recommendations to the Public Campaign Financing Commission
Capital Investments: A Look at The 2018 New York State Legislative Elections
NYPIRG and civic groups urge NY Commission on Public Financing to focus on the task at hand; in 3 months establishing a new system of campaign financing.
NYPIRG statement on proposed PFOA, PFOS, 1,4-dioxane MCLs
Tale of the Tape: NYPIRG's 2019 Legislative Review
Albany Money Machine 2019
Civic Organizations Release 50-state Review of States' Ethics Boards
Release: Albany Money Machine 2019
NYPIRG Reviews Governor, Senate and Assembly Budget Plans on Key Issues
Reports & Features Archive