Right now, New York is one of just 13 states that, besides allowing the submission of an absentee ballot, doesn’t give its citizens the means to vote early.
Tuesday afternoon, lawmakers and activists from all across the state packed the Capitol’s staircase and brought a clear message. Activists, representing groups like the League of Women Voters and Citizens Actions of New York, made the case that a state without early voting is a state falling behind the rest of the country.
They say early voting legislation will increase voter turnout and alleviate stress for people working long hours and for those that need more flexibility when it comes to getting to the polls.
Tuesday’s rally brought together multiple generations of people who say New York makes it incredibly hard for some people, all ages included, to vote.
“What made me even more sad was that my friends who were also excited to vote could not go because of exams and classes, and don’t you think it’s a shame that we force students to decide between the responsibility as students versus the responsibilities as citizens?" said Brianna Cea, CEO of GenVote.
Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposal in his state of the state addressed pushed for new ways to make voting easier for New Yorkers. Cuomo says these safeguards would prevent threats to the electoral process.