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Citizens Union released the following statement in reaction to the rejection of ballot proposals 1 (Amending the Redistricting Process), 3 (Eliminating Ten-Day-Advance Voter Registration Requirement), and 4 (Authorizing No-Excuse Absentee Ballot Voting) by voters in the November general election:

 

We are disappointed that questions 3 and 4 have failed to pass. Both no excuse absentee voting and same day voter registration have boosted voter turnout in states where they have been implemented. It would have strengthened our democracy here in New York.

It is troubling that myths about voter fraud appear to have taken hold with voters. These untruths are standing in the way of common-sense voting reforms that make it easier to vote, while still maintaining the integrity of our elections. Voting advocates need to increase their efforts to educate voters and combat these harmful campaigns. In the meantime, we will continue to work with lawmakers to pass reforms that make it easier for New Yorkers to register and vote. They can start by lowering the voter registration deadline to ten days before an election, which is allowed under the current constitution.

Voters also rejected the proposed changes to the redistricting process. While question 1 contained a number of positive provisions, ultimately we were concerned that it would do too much to empower the legislature and shut the minority party out of the redistricting process. This is why we recommended a no vote on this question. It is now up to the Independent Redistricting Commission to accelerate its time table and arrive at an agreement on fair maps. If the commission doesn’t expedite the process, it risks having lawmakers or the courts usurp the process.

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