When was the last time you voted?
New York has one of the lowest voter turnout rates in the country. This year, the legislature has already passed a number of voting reforms, like consolidating the primaries.
Voting is considered a cornerstone of democracy, and some Central New York lawmakers want to make it easier to exercise that right.
"We do need to clean up our election system so people can participate, and so we have confidence that the results of our elections are the will of the people,” said State Senator Rachel May.
At a rally on Friday, lawmakers called to change voting requirements. They want to pass a law expanding parolees' right to vote.
"Democracy is having a voice, and I think too many people think it's not for them,” said Jonah Minkoff-Zern, the co-director of Public Citizens Democracy is for People Campaign. “We get bad results when people feel disenfranchised and don't feel like democracy isn't for them. These are reforms that show New Yorkers that democracy is about them."
The issue isn't just about low turnout, but also low registration. About a third of potential voters are not registered in New York. Lawmakers say automatic registration would add more than a million voters.
"The more voters are registered, the more people vote, the more our democracy reflects our values,” said Assemblyman Al Stirpe. “The problem we have right now is a lot the values we have aren't represented at all in our legislatures."
Beginning this fall, there will be early voting, so some polling sites will be open for up to 10 days before Election Day. Onondaga County has approved six locations, and there is funding available for two more.
Lawmakers want to pass additional voting reforms before the legislative session ends in the middle of June.