Citizens Union believes our democracy is strongest when more of us are participating. That’s why we’ve fought for – and won – reforms that expand and protect the right to vote in New York State. The implementation of these reforms is ongoing, and is work that Citizens Union is actively involved in.
For too long, New York had regressive voting laws that depressed voter participation. Thankfully, in January of 2019, the State Legislature passed a package of reforms, including early voting, consolidating federal and local primaries, same day voter registration, no excuse absentee voting and pre-registration for 16- and 17-year olds. These reforms have boosted voter turnout in other states across the country and will be a boon to democracy in New York. We will continue to advocate to ensure that these reforms are supported by adequate funding.
And in November 2019, New Yorkers voted overwhelmingly to bring Ranked Choice Voting to City elections. It’s now set to be in effect for New York’s elections for Mayor, City Council and other offices in 2021.
Ranked Choice Voting allows voters to rank the candidates in order of preference. If no candidate wins a majority of the vote on the first tally, then the candidate with the least number of votes is eliminated. The votes for that candidate then go to the candidate ranked second. This continues until two candidates remain. CU has long advocated for Ranked Choice Voting because it gives voters more choices and saves taxpayer money by avoiding costly runoff elections.