Failed NY ballot proposals would’ve made voter registration, absentee voting easier

New York Elections

ALBANY, N.Y. — New Yorkers had the chance to weigh in on five statewide ballot proposals in the general election on Tuesday. However, according to the unofficial results, voters only approved two of those measures.

The five proposals included: 

  1. Amending the Apportionment and Redistricting Process
  2. Right to Clean Air, Clean Water, and a Healthful Environment
  3. Eliminating Ten-Day-Advance Voter Registration Requirement
  4. Authorizing No-Excuse Absentee Ballot Voting
  5. Increasing the Jurisdiction of the New York City Civil Court

Proposals 1, 3 and 4, dealing with redistricting and voting, did not pass.

The third ballot proposal, if passed, would have meant removing New York’s current window requiring voters to register at least 10 days before an election. The state legislature then could have passed a statute allowing voters to register closer to an election, including same-day registration.

An approval of the fourth proposal would have eliminated the state’s current absentee voting policy, which requires voters to have a “valid reason” for requesting an absentee ballot. Currently, state policy requires voters to be absent from the country, ill, or physically disabled in order to vote by absentee ballot.

While the organization Common Cause New York supported these efforts, the New York GOP took a “Just Say No!” stance.

“A funny thing happened on the way to election day. The people used common sense and said these are solutions to problems that don’t exist in this state. We’re going to reject it,” said NYGOP Chair Nick Langworthy.

The fifth proposal, which allowed New York City Civil Court to hear and decide claims for up to $50,000 instead of the current jurisdictional limit of $25,000 seemed to be the least controversial and was approved by voters.

The other proposal that was given the “ok” was Proposal 2, establishing the right of each person to clean air and water and a healthful environment in the state’s constitution. While it was criticized by some agriculture groups for being too broad, environmental groups had championed the cause. 

“Now New Yorkers can go to all levels of government, whether it be a village, a town, a county a city or the state government and essentially say ‘your decisions now have to be screened against my right to clean air and clean water and a healthful environment’,” said EANY Executive Director Peter Iwanowicz.

The approved ballot proposals are to be added to the state’s constitution in January. 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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