Advocacy Alert: Get New York Voting Again!

Voter participation in New York State has declined dramatically over the past half century and now stands near the bottom as compared to other states. In 2016, New York ranked 41st in the nation in voter turnout. New York has failed to take actions undertaken by other states to increase participation by making it less complicated to register to vote and to cast a ballot. Supporting efforts to bring meaningful and comprehensive voting and election law reform is a key piece of the City Bar’s 2019 New York State Legislative AgendaNew York can take a significant step towards increasing voter participation by adopting key voting reforms. 

Click here for how to get involved


  • Early Voting
  • “No Excuse” (“No Fault”) Absentee Voting
  • Single (“Consolidated”) Primary Day
  • Election Day (“Same Day”) Registration
  • Party Registration Changes Up to 30 Days Before a Primary Election
  • Make Election Day a Work Holiday
  • Felony Re-Enfranchisement
  • Instant Run-Off Voting in Municipal Elections


  • New York is behind most states in how it allows its citizens to vote
    • 37 states plus the District of Columbia allow early voting without voter “excuse” or explanation, but New York limits eligibility to voters with a permitted “excuse” by absentee ballot
    • 28 states plus the District of Columbia permit any qualified voter to vote absentee without offering an excuse
    • New York is the only state with two primary days
    • 17 states plus the District of Columbia have same day registration
    • 49 states have open primaries or allow a change of party close to Election Day
    • 16 states plus the District of Columbia restore voting rights post-incarceration
  • New Yorkers are being left out of the democratic process. Voters who cannot make it to the polls on election day for any number of reasons—work, school, personal commitments, inability to arrange travel assistance, etc.—are not afforded any flexibility in finding a time to vote.
  • New Yorkers should be able to exercise their basic democratic rights with fewer constraints.
  • These reforms would improve the administration of elections by relieving congestion and giving election administrators more time to address problems that may arise at the polls.


  • Send an email or make a short phone call to leadership and your representatives in the State Senate and Assembly to express your support for voting reforms. Your message doesn’t need to be long, it just needs to convey (1) that you support voting reforms in New York; and (2) that as their constituent, you urge them to pass these reforms.  
      • Your representative – insert your address here for contact information
      • Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins at (518) 455-2585 or
      • Assembly speaker Carl Heastie at (518) 455-3791 or
      • Governor Andrew Cuomo at (518) 474-1041 (press 2) or here
  • Engage on social media.  Join the conversation by expressing your support for voting reforms and tagging #LetNYvote. Use your social media to urge Legislators to support these reforms and encourage your followers on the issue.  
  • Visit Let NY Vote for additional resources and opportunities to get involved with this issue. This website includes a number of useful tools, including an easy way to contact your representative




For more information, please contact the Policy Department:

Elizabeth Kocienda