Target: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Goal: Loosen regulations around voter registration to encourage higher voting participation and civic engagement.
Voting rights have been a hot-button issue during the 2016 election. People have waited over six hours to vote in the primaries, early voting has been cut back, polling places have closed and the debate about requiring driver’s licenses to vote still continues.
Over the past few years, New York’s voter turnout has been one of the worst in the nation. Ranked 48th out of 50 states, New York makes voter registration incredibly difficult for its residents. New York is one of the only states that does not allow for same-day voter registration or early voting, and absentee ballots are difficult to procure.
After a voter has been registered, the polling process is needlessly involved: primaries, Congressional primaries, legislative primaries and the general election all hold separate voting days, and as a result, turnout suffers. Candidates in “smaller” races without money to spend on widespread ad campaigns are less likely to inspire voters to show up to a separate voting day, and the cycle of career politicians continues. By streamlining voter registration and the voting process, it would be easier and more convenient for New Yorkers to engage in their civic duty and cast their ballots fairly.
Ask New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to re-evaluate the voter registration and polling processes to encourage residents to be more involved this election cycle.
Dear Governor Cuomo,
Despite leading the charge for women’s suffrage in the early 1900s, New York has a long way to go to ensure legal and fair voting rights for all of its residents.
As it currently stands, New York’s voter attendance rate is one of the lowest of the country due to factors that could easily be changed. The registration process is difficult and polling happens over four separate dates during a general election year, instead of the typical two days in other states. The decision to maintain four separate voting days is a waste of taxpayers’ time and money and does not properly serve their right to vote. By condensing these dates, higher voter turnout could change the face of the New York State government to better reflect the needs of the people.
Absentee ballots from the state of New York are reportedly difficult to obtain, and require residents to provide a valid “excuse” for their absenteeism. This question gums up the absentee ballot process, and the information should not inhibit a person’s right to vote. Other states offer early voting or voting by mail for residents who have a difficult time traveling to a polling center or worry that they may not be able to take the time to vote on each specific day. New York’s refusal to admit these practices makes it difficult for residents to vote, and it cannot continue.
Please consider making the voting process easier for New York residents. This lack of reasonable accommodation for a basic American right must be rectified to see an increase in voter turnout and civic engagement.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Dwight Burdette