Cuomo Enacts Automatic Voter Registration To Ease New York Voter Sign Up

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Andrew Jose Contributor
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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a law Tuesday mandating designated state agencies to establish an automatic voter registration system, thus expediting voter registration and cutting associated red-tape.

The 2020 New York Automatic Voter Registration Act assigns to New York’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and other State agencies that directly interact with New York residents the responsibility of working with the State Board of Elections to integrate their agency and voter registration applications, a press release from Governor Cuomo’s office announced. (RELATED: New York Floats Tax Hike On High-Income Citizens As They Flee NYC)

The resulting new, single application will be an application for services provided by each respective agency and a voter registration form, through which registration information of eligible voters who consent will be sent to the State’s Board of Elections, according to the release.

The new changes will occur in phases, with the DMV joining the program in 2023, the Department of Health and Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance in 2024, and the State University of New York in 2025, the press release explained. 

“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,” Governor Cuomo said. “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.”

Automatic voter registration increased voter registration rates between 9 and 94% in jurisdictions across the United States, according to a 2019 report by the Brennan Center at NYU Law.

New York will soon join the list of 18 other states with automatic voter registration, Forbes reported.