ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Low voter turnout is a frequent frustration for elections officials. Last year's presidential election dominated headlines and daily discourse, but just 57 percent of New Yorkers eligible to vote actually did. Non-presidential elections are markedly worse.
Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, D-Manhattan, has proposed a $10 fine to punish any New Yorker who doesn't vote, unless they have "proof of a valid excuse."
In Monroe County, where more than 80 percent of registered voters did vote in November, whether a fine would work or not depends on who you talk to.
Senator Fred Akshar released a statement saying: "
"American citizens have the right to vote or not to vote without fear of being punished or fined by their government for doing so," said Senator Fred Akshar. "The proposed 'compulsory voting' bill is a regressive policy that would hurt the poor and those on fixed incomes. It appears to be another thinly-veiled tax idea from New York City designed to punish our more vulnerable citizens. We all want to increase voter participation and turnout, but there are plenty of other ways to do this without turning our citizens into criminals if they miss an election."