League of Women Voters NY: Vote early

Polls will open bright and early on Oct. 23, and close on Oct. 31, followed by Election Day Tuesday, Nov. 2, for local elections.

The League of Women Voters of New York City said, Local elections affect the daily life of all city residents, from trash collection to policing to education for our children.

“This fall, we will decide our next mayor, public advocate, comptroller, borough pPresidents, and 35 of the 51 City Council members. Voters in Manhattan and Brooklyn will also be selecting new district attorneys,” said the organization.

“We will also vote on five important ballot proposals that would amend the New York State Constitution. The proposals deal respectively with 1) redistricting, 2) environmental rights, 3) removal of restrictions on voter registration deadlines, 4) removal of restrictions on voting absentee, and 5) expansion of the New York City Civil Court to include claims of up to $50,000.”

The City League supports a “YES” vote on Ballot Proposals 2, 3, and 4. Together, they will protect our environmental rights and make it easier for citizens to vote.

Proposal No. 2 would establish the right to clean air and water, and a healthful environment. State and local governments and businesses will have to consider citizens’ relationship to the environment in all decision making. This will also create a mechanism for combating the inequities faced by communities of color and low-income communities from disproportionate exposure to pollution, said a release.

Proposal No. 3 would delete the requirement that citizens be registered to vote at least 10 days before an election. The State Legislature would then be able to enact laws to move the voter registration deadline closer to the election, or even allow same-day registration, where people could register at their poll site. Presently, twenty states allow for same-day voter registration. This would lead to an increase in voter turnout, while also making it easier for voter rolls to be updated for accuracy during early voting or on Election Day.

Proposal No. 4 would delete the requirement that a voter must be unable to appear at the polls by reason of absence from New York City, illness, or physical disability, to vote absentee. Any voter could request an absentee ballot without a specific excuse, including in case of another pandemic like COVID-19. It would also take pressure off poll sites, since fewer voters would need to appear in-person to vote. New York would join thirty-four other states that do not require an excuse to vote absentee or by mail.

The New York State League Voter Guide (https://lwvny.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Voters-Guide-2_2021_Aug31.pdf) has more on the other questions. We hope to see you at the polls during Early Voting or on Election Day.

To make sure you are registered to vote, visit https://www.nycvotersearch.com or call 866-VOTE-NYC (1-866-868-3692). If you find it difficult to hear on a phone, you can use TTY-212-487-5496. You can locate your polling place at https://findmypollsite.vote.nyc.

For more about your ballot, you can visit https://vote.nyc/page/understanding-ballot.

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