City Bar Calls for Early Voting in New York

The New York City Bar Association strongly supports the inclusion of a plan for a flexible in-person early voting period in this year’s New York State Executive Budget. To implement early voting responsibly, the City Bar supports the Governor’s proposal to allocate $7 million for this purpose and applauds the Assembly’s inclusion of this funding in their one-house budget.

“Early voting will help citizens participate in the democratic process while reducing pressure on election administrators,” the City Bar says in a report authored by its Election Law Committee.

According to the report, in 2016, despite two New Yorkers being at the top of the presidential ballot, New York ranked 41st out of 50 in turnout. Most states—37 plus the District of Columbia—provide early voting, and a recent Siena College Poll shows that 65% % (73% Democrats; 49% Republicans; 68% Independents) are in favor of “Institut[ing] early voting in New York like it exists in dozens of other states.” The report notes that early voting “can spread voter traffic across a number of days, which will ease long lines, give poll workers more time to do their jobs well, and give busy New Yorkers more opportunity to cast their ballots.”

“Now is the time for New York State to honor its hard working citizens by recognizing their desire to participate in the political process and giving them more time to do so, while simultaneously reducing the pressure on election administrators,” the report states.

The City Bar urges the Governor and Legislature to enact early voting and help New York take a significant step towards increasing voter participation.

The report can be read here:

About the Association
The New York City Bar Association, since its founding in 1870, has been dedicated to maintaining the high ethical standards of the legal profession, promoting reform of the law and access to justice, and providing service to the profession and the public. The Association, through its 24,000 members, continues to work for political, legal and social reform, while implementing innovative means to help the disadvantaged. Protecting the public’s welfare remains one of the Association’s highest priorities.