New York Now Has Automatic Voter Registration
Officials have been looking for ways to increase voter turnout and participation, while also decreasing the barriers that people experience as part of the registration process, and it looks like New York has taken a step closer to achieving this.
According to reporting done by WKBW, last week Governor Cuomo signed a new law that begins automatic voter registration for voting-eligible residents of New York.
The New York Automatic Voter Registration Act of 2020 (New York State Senate Bill S8806) creates an automatic process of voter registration when a person comes into contact with another state agency.
New York's antiquated voter registration system is in dire need of updating and modernization. It is time for New York to join the growing number of states who have implemented automatic registration. This bill will remove one of many barriers in our voting system to help New York improve its dismal record of voter turnout. A modern voter registration system that electronically transmits voter registration information will reduce costs involved in processing voter registrations and maintaining complete and accurate voter registration lists.
-Justification Text from Senate Bill S8806
As people interact with different NYS Agencies like the Department of Heatlh, Department of Labor, or the Office of Temporary and Disability
Assistance, they will be automatically registered to vote.
The right to vote is one of, if not the most, sacred pillars of our democracy and for too long, bureaucratic red tape has made it unnecessarily difficult for New Yorkers to exercise this right. From instituting early voting to making necessary reforms to the absentee ballot process, New York has already made elections more accessible, but we are far from finished. With this new law on the books, we are taking this work a step further and not only instituting automatic voter registration, but creating a single uniform platform for registering online.
-New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Because this will be an electronic process, the automatic registration will take a little time to take effect. You will start to see come online starting in 2023 with the DMV, followed by Labor Department and OTDA in 2024, and SUNY starting in 2025.