Advocacy Alert (Updated): Get New York Voting Again! Support Early Voting

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 2018 New York State Legislative AgendaNew York can take a significant step towards increasing voter participation by adopting Early Voting in this year’s budget.


  • The majority of states—37 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.
  • 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.
  • Early Voting would improve the administration of elections by relieving congestion and giving election administrators more time to address problems that may arise at the polls.
  • The Governor’s Budget Proposal would provide $7 million in funding for the administration of early voting.


  • UPDATE: Participate in One Week of Action for Early Voting – Learn more here
  • Send a letter or email, or make a short phone call to your representatives in the State Senate and Assembly to express your support for early voting. Your message doesn’t need to be long, it just needs to convey (1) that you support allowing early voting in New York; and (2) that as their constituent, you urge them to support early voting.  You can find your representative and their relevant contact information by plugging your address here
  • Engage on social media.  Join the conversation by expressing your support for early voting and tagging #EarlyVoting and #LetNYvote. Use your social media to urge Legislators to support early voting 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


This page will be updated as this issue develops and as additional opportunities for involvment become available, so make sure to check back for the latest information.


For more information, please contact the Policy Department:

Elizabeth Kocienda