part of a push to reshape the state’s often-criticized voting laws as time winds down on New York’s annual legislative session. Former gubernatorial and congressional candidate Zephyr Teachout joined good-government groups and labor unions Tuesday for a last-gasp rally, hoping to convince the the state Legislature to approve voting reforms — including one that would allow early voting — before leaving the Capitol. State lawmakers are scheduled to break for the year on June 21.
“We know that New Yorkers want to see accessible, reliable, convenient voting,” Common Cause/NY executive director Susan Lerner told a crowd of about 150. “It needs to be easy to register, it needs to be easy to vote, so every single eligible New Yorker is able to exercise that basic democracy right — the right to cast a ballot.”
New York regularly ranks near the bottom nationwide when it comes to voter turnout.
About 57 percent of the state’s voting-eligible population cast a ballot in last year’s presidential election, ranking 41st among the 50 states and Washington D.C., according to the U.S. Elections Project, which tracks turnout. Reform advocates say updating the state’s voting laws could be a way to boost turnout.