Get New York out of the 19th Century and into the 21st

To the Editor:

Do you think voting reforms like automatic registration of eligible voters; same-day registration of new voters; online personal voter registration and absentee ballot applications; creation of a system of permanent voter registration; allowing registered voters to change their party enrollment closer to primary day; providing “no excuse required” absentee voting; uniform statewide poll hours; consolidation of federal, state, and local primaries on a single day; enacting disaster preparedness voting protections; increasing language access; voter protection from improper challenges; restoring voting rights for citizens on parole; enhancing poll-worker training and recruitment; and reimbursement of localities for extra costs are good for New York State?

If your answer is yes, then you are in good company. A significant number of New Yorkers thought the same way and registered complaints with the state Attorney General’s Office on every one of those issues after the last election.

The AG got together with Assemblyman Michael Cusick [a Democrat representing Staten Island, District 63] and created the New York Votes Act. It is winding its way through the New York State Assembly as I write.  It is Bill A.5312.

People who care are desperately trying to move New York out of the 19th Century and into the 21st.  It is good legislation with built-in safeguards.  

New York was 41st in the nation in voter turnout in 2016, in what was the most tumultuous election in a long time. We were also first in the nation in corruption convictions of political leaders and close to last in voter and ethics reform.  Does anyone else see a link?

A question has to be raised. Senator George Amedore [a Republican representing the 46th District, which stretches over 140 miles, encompassing parts of five counties — Albany, Greene, Montgomery, Schenectady, and Ulster], will you use all your influence as a member of the Election Committee for the reforms in the New York Votes Act?

Bill Goergen


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