Assemblymember Hunter: Assembly Voting Reform Package Will Help More New Yorkers Get to the Polls

May 16, 2017

Assemblymember Pamela J. Hunter (D-Syracuse) announced that she is working to help pass several measures to modernize the state’s election process and make voting easier for New Yorkers.

“If we want to get people out to vote, we need to provide more ways for them to do so,” said Hunter. “Our voting system is woefully out of date, and this legislation addresses some of the biggest issues standing between people and the polls.”

The package includes a measure authored by Hunter to allow poll workers to split shifts and receive prorated compensation A.6907-A. Many poll workers are senior citizens, and with shifts lasting up to 16 hours as well as changes in technology and added training requirements, fewer people are able to work on election days, noted Hunter. Shorter shifts and allowing prorated compensation will help recruit more workers.

“Poll workers keep our elections running smoothly, so they’re essential to our democratic process,” said Hunter. “With polls opening early and closing late to accommodate voters, election inspectors are putting in 16 hours or more, and that’s a tough burden for anyone.”

Hunter also co-sponsored a bill establishing early voting, which would require polling locations to be open for a seven-day period prior to an election (A.2064). A second bill she co-sponsored streamlines voter registration by requiring state and local agencies to include the option to register to vote on their applications A.6283. She also supports a measure instructing boards of elections to automatically transfer voter enrollment for New Yorkers who move from one county to another A.3411.

The Assembly package also includes a bill that combines the federal and state primary election dates to a single day in June, estimated to save taxpayers $25 million A.3052. The measure would also bring New York State in compliance with the Military and Overseas Employment (MOVE) Act, ensuring that military personnel and their families have enough time to vote by mail. Additional legislation would permit New Yorkers to vote by absentee ballot for any reason and to register to vote online A.7623, A.5382. Another measure would allow voters who will be 18 years of age at the time of a presidential election to vote in the primary election even if they are 17 A.3549.