Dear OCDC Family,
In case you have not seen this letter from our Elected Officials I wanted to share it. Thank you to everyone who is out there working hard for the Onondaga County Democratic Party.
Acting Secretary/City Chair
We, the undersigned, support giving all eligible New Yorkers the freedom to vote by including Early Voting and Automatic Voter Registration funding and legislation in the 2018-19 state budget, as the first steps toward modernizing elections in New York State.
While some New Yorkers do not experience problems registering and accessing the voting booth, for too many the process is confusing and discouraging. Even one voter who is disenfranchised because of antiquated voting laws is one voter too many- and we know that there are many who are not able to cast their ballots.
There are 37 other states including Texas, Ohio, Kansas, Georgia, North Carolina and Oklahoma that have adopted Early Voting laws to enable more citizens to have their voices heard and improve election administration. We believe that it is unacceptable that New York is not among them.
There is much to be done to ensure that New York's election laws help foster a truly inclusive and representative democracy. Establishing and funding an Early Voting process in New York is an important first step that can be accomplished during this budget cycle.
Hard working New Yorkers should not need to choose between their jobs and voting. Early Voting in New York would finally give voters who are seniors, disabled, in school, working, or parents taking care of their families, a chance to get to their polling location and cast their ballots.
We support the $7 million proposed in the Governor's final budget proposal. This is an extraordinarily small figure to ensure New Yorkers are able to vote.
Early Voting has shown to be popular with voters across the political spectrum. We are impressed by the recent Siena College polling results showing 67% of New Yorkers in support of early voting. No matter where New Yorkers live - in rural, urban or suburban areas - a significant majority of them support early voting for New York.
Further, New York should join 11 other states and Washington, D.C. who in the last three years have set up an Automatic Voter Registration system. An Automatic Voter Registration system that updates our voter rolls through contacts with numerous state agencies will improve the security and accuracy of our voter rolls, as well as help combat our state's persistent low voter turnout.
Now more than ever, we must recognize that voting rights are civil rights. Generations of brave Americans fought and died to ensure that we have the opportunity to vote.
Our state must encourage voting, rather than discourage it, by working to reform outdated voting laws as many other states have successfully done.
Senator, 53rd Senate District
Pamela Jo Hunter
Assemblywoman, 128th Assembly District
Assemblyman, 129th Assembly District
Assemblyman, 127th Assembly District