More than 90,000 – That’s how many New Yorkers couldn’t vote in the 2016 election because of New York’s absurdly early voter registration deadline. To vote in an election, New York requires you to register 25 days in advance. There’s no reason a cutoff should be that far out. In fact, 17 states and D.C. even offer same-day registration.
Those three weeks before Election Day can make or break outcomes. As in much of the country, elections heat up closer to election day, and they are often decided by tight margins.
Just as New Yorkers are engaged in the closing weeks by ads, debates, news coverage, and campaign outreach, they are shut out of the process.
That’s why the New York Civil Liberties Union has just sued the state over the deadline. Disenfranchising tens of thousands of people violates our state constitutional right to vote. After all, voting is the right we use to protect all other rights.