Responsive Gov’s Grade TL;DR
This past session, the New York Assembly and Governor Hochul stepped up to pass an important package of pro-voter reforms. After 2022’s temporary fix to ensure that any voter could vote by mail, this past year the Legislature finally passed a permanent solution – the “Early Mail Voter Act.” They also established a “Golden Day” that will allow voters to both register and vote on the first day of early voting. However, the state also missed a critical deadline for PAVR implementation this year. Therefore, New York received an A- on this year’s progress report.
Where New York Started at the Beginning of 2023
- Automatic Voter Registration: Partial AVR
- Online Voter Registration: DMV ID
- Same-Day Registration: No
- Restoration of Rights: Prison Disenfranchisement
- Vote by Mail: Excuse-Only
- Electronic Registration Information Center Member: No
- Early Voting Opportunities: Regular Ballot Early Voting
- ID Requirements: No Document Required
Relying on the Cost of Voting Index for New York as of 2022, we considered the state a middle tier state for pre-existing voting policy and compared its 2023 activity against other middle tier states.
How Our Tier Compares
- COVI (2022): 17th
- EPI Score (2020): 47th
- CLC State Scorecard (2022): 7/10
- MAP Democracy Rating (2022): FAIR
2023: This Past Year
The Assembly passed a historic package of pro-voter reforms during last year’s session.
- S 5984-A/A 6132-A establishes a “Golden Day” that allows voters to register to vote and cast their ballot during a single trip on the first day of early voting.
- S 7394-A/A 7632-A allows any voter to cast an early vote by mail without requiring an excuse. A lawsuit to block implementation of the new law has been filed by a variety of groups seeking to restrict mail voting to only those voters that qualify to vote absentee.
- S 587/A 268 requires the State Board of Elections to “establish and host an education and training institute” that would create a program to certify poll workers.
- S 5965-A/A 4009-A requires local correctional facilities to give adults being released from incarceration information about voting rights and offer them a voter registration form.
- S 6519-A/A 1565-A prohibits last minute changes to early voting sites within 48 hours of the start of early voting and requires that any late changes to locations must be communicated to voters at least five days before early voting starts.
- S 6195/A 1177 changes the standards for ballots that have to be cured to allow voters to seal or tape their absentee ballot envelope without having them flagged to be corrected.
- S 1733-A/A 5180-A expands voter registration and preregistration opportunities in high schools.
- S 7550/A 7690 revises the absentee ballot cure process to ensure ballots mailed by election day can be counted even if election officials receive them up to seven days after the election. It also shortens the early voting period by one day for presidential primaries, but extends the time polls are open to nine hours each day.
- S 3505B/A4282-A shifts local elections to even years to align with federal and statewide elections
- Due to contracting and vendor delays, New York did not meet the January 2023 implementation deadline for AVR at the DMV. Implementation will likely be delayed until mid-2024 at the earliest, and will likely be delayed for non-DMV agencies beyond the January 2024 implementation deadline.