NEW YORK, NY –– Mayor de Blasio is advocating for the Board of Elections to make Early Voting easy for New Yorkers.
The Mayor urged the BOE to use $75 million dedicated in the Executive Budget to open 100 early voting sites. Early voting requires the BOE to offer New Yorkers the opportunity to vote for nine days prior to Election Day. Early voting can help prevent long lines, confusion and broken ballot machines on Election Day. The Mayor has sent a formal letter to the BOE urging them to develop an early voting plan.
“We now have a real opportunity in New York to strengthen our democracy and drive up participation in our elections,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “However, to take advantage of this opportunity, the Board of Elections must abandon their age old practice of doing the bare minimum. They must do right by New Yorkers, and we’re giving them the funding to do it. I want to thank the Chairs of the Committee on Elections, State Senator Zellnor Myrie and Assembly Member Charles Lavine, as well as the rest of the legislature for approving early voting – a crucial electoral reform that will make voting easier. Our message to the Board of Elections is simple: get early voting right.”
The State legislation requires the BOE to provide early voting at a minimum of 34 poll sites. The Mayor’s funding allows the BOE to go beyond the minimum requirements of the law. Each of the three upcoming elections will receive $25 million for the BOE to provide early voting at 100 sites.
“Early voting is absolutely critical to an accessible and fair democratic process. I wholeheartedly join the Mayor’s call for the robust and fair distribution of early voting locations, and am delighted to see that at least 100 locations are already funded. In 2015, my office launched Student Voter Registration Day, which brought thousands of New York City high school students on to the voter rolls, and thanks to Mayor de Blasio’s Democracy NYC initiative, opportunities for civic engagement only continue to grow,” said Council Member Helen Rosenthal.