Governor Andrew Cuomo will be announcing the Democracy Project in his State of the State address in Western New York on Monday in an effort to modernize voting in New York.
The Democracy Project will work to increase participation in the democratic system by removing barriers to voter registration to make voting easier for New Yorkers. Cuomo says it will also add an early voting option to allow voters to cast their ballots up to 12 days before election day.
The project would also adopt voter registration and same day voter registration.
Cuomo's goal is to remove barriers that prevent people from participating in elections.
"This past election shined a bright light on the deficiencies of New York's antiquated election laws and the artificial barriers they create that prevent and discourage voters from exercising this sacred right," said Cuomo. "These proposals will modernize and open up our election system, making it easier for more voters to participate in the process and helping to make a more fair, more just and more representative New York for all."
The early voting proposal would require every county to offer residents access to at least one early voting poll site in the 12 days leading up to Election Day. Research shows that work, school and personal commitments often prevent voters from participating in elections. Early voting would help this problem and lead to shorter lines.
In addition, automatic voter registration will send voters' information used in a DMV application directly to the County Board of Elections. In this case, instead of having to "opt in" to vote, New Yorkers who do not wish to register to vote with have to "opt out" by checking a box. This will make for less frustration when voters find they are not registered to vote when they reach their polling place.
Same-day voter registration will ensure that all New Yorkers have the opportunity to make their voices heard.
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