ny state assembly passes electoral reform package making it easier to for new yorkers to vote

legislation would also close the llc loophole, bringing transparency to corporate contributions

January 14, 2019

NEW YORK-- On Monday, New York State lawmakers passed significant voting reform bills making it easier for New Yorkers to vote. Changes include nine days of early voting, closing the LLC loophole that allowed corporations the ability to donate unlimited sums and pre-registration for 16 and 17 year-olds. In addition, the state’s federal and state primaries will be consolidated into a single day to make it easier for voters to cast their ballots.

Assembly Member and Candidate for New York City Public Advocate Michael Blake said, “The right to vote is the cornerstone of our democracy. Today, we’ve taken a major step forward to expand the franchise and make voting easier and more accessible to tens of thousands of New Yorkers across the state. I am proud to be a Co-Sponsor on these critical pieces of legislation.

However, more must be done to expand voter access. I will continue to press for both ranked choice voting and automatic voter registration systems. We must do more to ensure that the voice of our parolees are protected as well. As New York City’s Public Advocate, I will hold our government accountable to ensure free and fair elections, and continue to fight to make our community’s voice heard.”

Seven bills were passed in total.

LLC’s were included in the list on entities subject to the existing contribution limits for corporations, which is currently $5,000 (A776, Simon). This bill also increases transparency by including the identities of individuals with a significant stake in LLC’s.

Another bill targeted the voter re-registration process by making it easier for those who move within New York State to vote in their new districts (A775, Dinowitz). Assemblymember Carroll authored a bill that would amend the NY State constitution removing the 10-day advance registration requirement (A777, Carroll).

Other reforms include the removal of the justification for absentee voting allowing all voters to request a ballot-by-mail (A778, Vanel), consolidating the federal and state primary elections to a single day (A779, Lavine), expanding voter pre-registration to 16 and 17 year-olds (A774, Lavine) and requiring the Board of Elections to notify citizens of the time and location of early voting polling places (A780, Lavine).