New York will mechanically start registering eligible state information
New York State will begin automatically registering its voters.
On Tuesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that he had signed the New York Automatic Voter Registration Act of 2020, which will help automatically register eligible adults to vote.
“The right to vote is one, if not the most sacred pillar of our democracy, and for too long the bureaucratic bureaucracy has made it unnecessarily difficult for New Yorkers to exercise this right,” Cuomo said in a statement. “From introducing early voting to necessary reforms to the postal voting system, New York has already made the elections more accessible, but we’re far from done.
“With this new law on the books,” he continued, “we’re going one step further and not only introducing automatic voter registration, but also creating a unified platform for online registration.”
The governor’s announcement said the law will help increase voter turnout while removing administrative barriers to processing voter registration applications.
There are 20 states and District of Columbia that have automatic voter registration, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
The new law enables the automatic registration of persons entitled to vote when they use various designated government departments or agencies. The new law comes into force from 2023 and starts with the Motor Vehicles Department.
In 2024, automatic voter registration will begin at the State Department of Health, State Department of Labor, and State Office for Temporary Disability Assistance and Assistance. In 2025, the State University of New York will also automatically register voters, according to the governor’s announcement.
“Right now, a person joining the DMV, for example, can fill out a form that is electronically passed through the state electoral authority or the county electoral authority to create a registration, registration, or change, and essentially will extend that process to various other agencies, “said Ken Dow, Columbia County’s Democratic Commissioner. “From our end we will only get the applications, in a very similar way to how we got the DMV.”
Dow said the new law will not have much of a direct impact on the county electoral boards and that the new law will not change the deadlines for registering voters.
A voter can only vote on election day if he has been registered in due time.
“It doesn’t mean you can come in and register at the last minute,” Dow said. “This doesn’t change the time frame. You have to register before voting. This is going to make it really easier for people to register, from their end on it will be pretty helpful, but from the end of the electoral committee it doesn’t really change what we are doing much at all. “
Automatic voter registration can lead to an increase in the number of registered voters, but Dow said the increase in registrations will be spread across the year as people use the various government agencies for different reasons, and the increase will not be overwhelming.
The National Conference of State Legislatures website states that opponents of automatic voter registration argue that a higher number of registered voters does not necessarily mean that there will be a higher turnout on election day.
According to the State Board of Elections as of November 1, 2020, Jefferson County has 68,431 eligible voters, St. Lawrence County 68,208, and Lewis County 18,898.
According to the state election committee, all persons older than 18 years are eligible to vote.
To become a registered voter, an individual must also be a US citizen and reside in the state for at least 30 days prior to the election.
In January 2016, Oregon became the first state to implement an automatic voter registration policy, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures website.
With the Oregon system, voters using the state Motor Vehicle Department were not asked if they would like to register to vote. They were automatically registered for voting when using the DMV. The person will then receive a notification that they have been registered to vote, at which point they will have the option to unsubscribe by returning the notification.
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