27 Percent Of New York’s Registered Voters Won’t Be Able To Vote In The State’s Primary

From a new article in the Nation, Ari Berman pens a  review of New York’s restrictive voting laws. From the article:

 “New York has no early voting (unlike 37 states), noElection Day registration (the state constitution requires voters to register no later than 10 days before an election), and excuse-only absentee balloting (voters have to prove they’ll be out of town or have a disability.)

The voter-registration deadline for the April 19 primary closed 25 days beforehand, when no candidate had even campaigned in New York, and independent or unaffiliated voters had to change their party registrations by October 9, 193 days before April 19, to vote in the closed Democratic or Republican primaries. This will disenfranchise nearly 30 percent of New Yorkers, including, most famously, the Trump children, who didn’t change their registrations from independent to Republican in time.

It’s easy to poke fun at the ignorance of Trump’s kids, but 3 million registered New Yorkers won’t be able to vote in the state’s primary because they are not affiliated with the Democratic or Republican parties. Election Day voter registration, which also increases voter turnout by up to 10 percent, would solve this problem.

Moreover, New York is holding three primaries this year, as Chris Hayes noted—April 19 for president, June 28 for Congress, and September 13 for state and local offices—which seems designed to keep voter turnout low for local elections. New York ranked 44th in voter turnout in 2012 and similarly low on the Center for American Progress’s “Health of State Democracies” index, receiving a D- for accessibility to the ballot.”

 

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