For Immediate Release
May 17, 2022
Today the New York State Senate passed a package of bills to reform election administration in the state. The legislation would enhance voter service and improve professionalism, transparency, and accountability at the state’s boards of elections.
The Let NY Vote coalition and the following members of its Board of Elections Reform working group – Bard College Center for Civic Engagement, Bethlehem Morning Voice Huddle, Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law, Brooklyn Voters Alliance, Center for Law and Social Justice at Medgar Evers College, Chinese-American Planning Council, Citizens Union, Common Cause New York, Dutchess County Progressive Action Alliance, Generation Vote, Indivisible Scarsdale, League of Women Voters of New York State, New York Democratic Lawyers Council, Stand Up America, True Blue NY, Vote Early NY, Westchester for Change, and YMCA of Greater New York – had this reaction:
“With today’s vote, the New York State Senate has taken a vital first step toward strengthening election administration and ensuring fair, professional, and accessible elections for all New Yorkers. Now the Assembly and the Governor must act on this package to promote quality service for every New York voter.
“This legislative package would begin to address the problems that New York voters face election after election as a result of dysfunction at the state’s boards of elections. These burdens most acutely affect groups that are underrepresented as a result of unfair barriers to the ballot, including people of color, working and low-income people, people from language-minority communities, students, and people with disabilities. This legislative package is essential to creating a truly inclusive and multiracial democracy in New York and improving the public trust in our democratic institutions.
“The legislation that the State Senate passed today proposes well-established national best practices in election administration to professionalize boards of elections statewide, and brings transparency and accountability to government processes that have been kept in the dark for too long.
“Administering elections can be hard, resource-intensive work, with unpredictable challenges. These reforms would better prepare New York’s election administrators to meet these challenges while improving the quality of voter service. This slate of bills is a great start to addressing the systemic flaws in New York’s election systems and more will need to be done in the future to build on the foundation they create.
“We applaud Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Senate Elections Chair Zellnor Myrie, the bills’ sponsors, and the full Senate for their leadership on this and other democracy reforms in recent years. We urge the Assembly and Governor to enact this package.”
Background and Resources
- How to Fix Election Administration in New York State (Brennan Center, Let NY Vote, and Generation Vote, December 2021)
- How to Fix the New York City Board of Elections (Brennan Center and Let NY Vote, September 2021)