The New York State legislative session is here! Our legislative priorities for this year:
Board of elections reform
NY Voting Rights Act
Passage of constitutional amendments (same day registration, no excuse absentee voting)
End felony disenfranchisement
Bask in the (overall) success of early voting, used for the first time during a presidential election in New York! Because of your fearless advocacy, millions of voters were able to vote early in person this year.
Watch this short video from the NYC Board of Elections explaining how ranked choice voting will look in the city!
Our 2020 GOTV Efforts!
New Law Alert: 16 and 17 year olds can now pre-register to vote! Future voters should use the new voter registration forms available HERE.
#RESTORE THE VOTE
Those of us who attended BVA’s #restorethevote forum and/or have researched this topic know and understand that New York’s voting laws are steeped in racism. And to uphold these laws, more than a century later, without any reflection on why they were passed and if they are still needed does a disservice to all New Yorkers. Nowhere in our constitution does it state that a person loses their citizenship when convicted of a felony. Instead, the restrictions to felony enfranchisement are by operation of political calculations that we have the duty, and the right, to question.
While we at BVA are advocating for universal voting, where losing the right to vote becomes the exception (like in instances of election fraud) rather than the rule. We understand that not everyone is ready for such transformational change (six million people across the nation have lost their right to vote) and that opinions will not change in a day. Therefore, if you are not supportive of universal voting, we challenge you to first, engage with your individual understanding of this issue and formulate your reasons for non-support, and second, to share your opinions and work with us as we explore our advocacy in this area. We want to hear all voices as we work towards our goal of establishing a more just democracy. Want to learn more?
View or Download our one-sheet on felony disenfranchisement.
The New York Times op-ed “Tell Me Again Why Prisoners Can’t Vote.” HERE.
2016 article from The Atlantic: Polls for Prisons. HERE.
Check out The Sentencing Project. HERE.
Whether you support universal voting or you are not ready, BVA has 2 goals regarding felony disenfranchisement:
- To gather information on whether your representative supports codifying Governor Cuomo’s executive order granting a conditional pardon to people on parole, thereby restoring their right to vote and/or universal voting and
- To demand that the state legislature pass legislation codifying Governor Cuomo’s executive order
Please also email email@example.com if you receive an answer to these questions of wish to learn more or discussion felony restoration.