Assemblymember Hunter Pushes for Early Voting Reforms
Assemblymember Pamela J. Hunter (D-Syracuse) has been a staunch advocate for voting reforms and reaffirmed her commitment to passing early voting legislation this year during a press conference Tuesday. Early voting increases the voting time frame so that more people can get to the polls and cast their ballots, Hunter noted.
“Far too often, poor and minority voters don’t have an equal opportunity to vote because they lack reliable transportation, readily available child care or the ability to leave work,” Hunter said. “Without easy access to the polls, there is very little marginalized communities can do to make sure politicians address their issues, which further disenfranchises them.”
Early voting is a critical issue for Hunter as Syracuse has the highest rate of extreme poverty for black and Latino residents among the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas.1 Expanding early voting would allow more New Yorkers to exercise their right to vote and help ensure their elected officials truly represent them. Voting is not a privilege for the elite; it’s a guaranteed right to all citizens, Hunter noted.
While the state budget deficit presents obstacles, Hunter is committed to passing and funding early voting without pushing the cost onto local governments.
Among those joining Hunter in the fight for early voting was state Sen. Brian Kavanagh, the NAACP, Common Cause New York, Citizen Action of New York, the League of Women Voters of New York State, workers from 32BJ SEIU and members of the Let NY Vote coalition.