Coalition calls on Albany to push for voting and campaign reforms

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Two voting measures that were high on New York Democrats’ to-do list for years were defeated on election day: an amendment that could have led to voter registration on the same day and another to allow postal voting without excuse.

But 65 organizations across the state are not abandoning these questions and many more.

This coalition sent a letter to the governor and legislative leaders urging them to make voting and campaign finance their top priorities this session.

Capital tonight discussed the letter and the accompanying campaign with Chisun Lee, deputy director of the Brennan Center electoral reform program.

“The labor, the franchise, racial justice and good government groups come together to say, ‘this vote was a wake-up call for New York.’ There are forces right now that are trying to undermine our democracy and suppress voting, ”Lee said. “And it’s time for heads of state, governor and legislative leaders to show that they have heard this issue and that they will step up their efforts in 2022.. “

As proof that “big lie supporters” are working in New York City, the letter’s signatories point to the “multi-million dollar campaign straight out of the Stop the Steal playbook” that targeted the two voting-related initiatives during the campaign. November ballot.

When it was reported to Lee that the Democratic Party had spent no money explaining polling questions to voters, Lee said the majority of New Yorkers supported this type of expansion of the vote.

“They are not radical. These are reforms that exist in all parts of this country and have been around for many, many years, ”said Lee. “Same-day registration is when people are interested in voting and when they can go to vote. Voting without excuse by mail, we’ve seen more and more people turn to this for basic safety and convenience measures in a state where people are still worried about the health implications. “

Other reforms the coalition is calling for include:

  • Resolve structural issues with state and local electoral councils that create barriers for voters
  • Funding of the State Small Donor Public Funding Program with $ 67 million, roughly half of the estimated cost for the 2024 cycle
  • Pass New York’s John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act to help expand access to the vote for people of color
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