NEW YORK — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed several new laws designed to make it easier for New Yorkers to vote in elections.
“For decades, New York has lagged behind the rest of the country in voter access,” explained attorney and former Congressional candidate Suraj Patel.
New Yorkers will now be able to request absentee ballots online. Previously voters had to make their requests in person at their local Board of Elections office, by mail or with a fax.
Absentee ballots can also now be postmarked up until Election Day, previously they had to be mailed 7 days before.
“We’re seeing election reform really being at the top of the list of priorities for the new legislature,” said Jennifer Wilson, Deputy Director of the League of Women Voters NY
Patel believes New York still needs to take one more step.
“Same day voter registration is essential,” he said. “It is the gold standard for progressive voter access and New York doesn’t have it.”
As New York expands voter access, 17 states across the country have enacted restrictive voting laws this year, from shortening the voting period to reducing same day registration.
Glynda C. Carr of Higher Heights for America attended a meeting with Vice President Kamala Harris at the White House last week to discuss voting rights.
“Voting has obviously become one of the hot button political issues,” she said. “Not only are we fighting to maintain the very voting rights that Americans fought for during the Civil Rights Movement, in fact, we’re rolling them even further back.”