October 13, 2016
Mayor also calls on federal government to clear citizenship application backlog to ensure America’s newest voters are able to register for November 8 election
Conducting free and fair elections is a sacred duty of government, yet in New York State, the way we hold elections is outdated, underfunded and seems designed to discourage participation. We’re here to say that in New York City we’re fighting for every voice to be heard. While we push to register as many New Yorkers as possible before tomorrow’s voter registration deadline, we need to make our call loud and clear: our system needs to be fairer and more open if we want our democracy to be a representative one,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio."
NEW YORK––Today, Mayor Bill de Blasio met with New Yorkers in Brooklyn to talk about voting reforms that could make New York’s electoral system fairer and more open, and to help register students and community residents ahead of Friday’s voter registration deadline. The Mayor was joined by volunteers from the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit as part of City Hall’s outreach efforts to help sign up eligible voters who have yet to register before Friday’s deadline. There are currently two million eligible but unregistered voters in New York.
The Mayor also called for the federal government to clear the citizenship application backlog of more than 57,000 pending applications in the New York and Queens USCIS service centers, and more than half a million nationwide, in order for those residents to register and vote in the November 8 election.
This year, the City has increased accessibility to voter registration for citizens with limited English proficiency by providing translated versions of the voter registration form in 11 new languages at www.nyccfb.info. In addition to the four translations that were already available – Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Bengali – the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, the Mayor’s Office of Operations, and the Campaign Finance Board have now provided translations in Russian, Haitian Creole, Arabic, French, Urdu, Albanian, Greek, Tagalog, Yiddish, Polish, and Italian. These efforts ensure that over 90 percent of limited English proficient eligible voters in New York City are able to register to vote on a form in their language.
FAIRER, MORE OPEN ELECTIONS
The Mayor called for the passage of a slate of reforms at the state level that would make New York’s voting process fairer and more open.By removing barriers to absentee and early voting, cutting down lines at the polls, making registration and voting easier and more streamlined, we can ensure that every New Yorkers’ vote counts and stop preventing voters from casting their ballot due to unavoidable employment, health care or family responsibilities.
These reforms include:
Allow Same-Day Voter Registration
Early Voting Measures
“No Excuse” Absentee Voting
Electronic Poll Books
Consolidation of Primary Elections
Pre-registration of 16- and 17-year-olds
The Mayor called for the federal government to clear the large backlog of pending naturalization applications.
Two week extension for recent citizens
FACILITATING VOTER REGISTRATION
There are currently 2 million eligible but unregistered voters in New York State. The de Blasio Administration is fighting to ensure every vote counts this Election Day by streamlining the process, engaging voters and making it simpler for voters of all languages to register. Below are a few of the de Blasio Administration’s wide reaching efforts to increase voter participation.
Voter registration forms in more languages
Voter registration during civil service exams
DCAS provides direct electronic access to voter registration for all who sign up for civil service exams and the City is in process of adding additional agencies.
The Campaign Finance Board launched “voting.nyc” to provide easy access to all voting related services.
LinkNYC is helping to get out the vote by making registering to vote on Links easier than ever for New Yorkers on the go. LinkNYC launched a redesigned tablet homepage, which links directly to the New York State DMV’s Electronic Voter Registration Application page.