The state Senate on Thursday approved the latest package of election law bills meant to make it easier to vote in New York.
“Voting is the bedrock of democracy. We must do more to help eligible New Yorkers participate in the political process and have their voices heard,” said Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins. “These bills build on the voting reforms we passed first thing last session, and will empower more New Yorkers to register to vote and utilize early voting opportunities.”
One bill advanced by the Democratic-controlled chamber would create a system of automatic voter registration when a person interacts with the state Department of Health and Department of Motor Vehicles.
Another bill requires early voting polling stations to be located in population centers — a bill proposed after Rensselaer County did not place a polling site in Troy during New York's first round of early voting last year.
Additional measures include requiring polling locations to be on the grounds of colleges and universities when they have 300 registered voters or more. And lawmakers also approved allowing for the state and local transportation departments to provide voter registration and Election Day information.
“At a time in our country when voting rights are under assault, New York must live up to its potential as a progressive leader," said Sen. Mike Gianaris. "Access to the ballot box should be easy and fair, and enacting automatic voter registration would go a long way towards improving our democracy. I am proud the Senate is passing AVR today.”