Supporting Ranked Choice Voting
Citizens Union has long advocated bringing Ranked Choice Voting to NYC elections. Last fall, voters overwhelmingly passed a referendum to implement this reform ahead of the 2021 election cycle. Ranked Choice Voting is used in several cities across the country, and will foster more positive, issue-focused campaigns, give voters more choice, and ensure that elected officials are accountable to a broader spectrum of their constituents. It will also mean the end of costly, low-turnout runoff elections.
The first election to use Ranked Choice Voting will take place on February 2, when voters in Kew Gardens, Fresh Meadows, Hillcrest, Jamaica Estates, Briarwood and parts of Jamaica go to the polls for a special City Council election.
Automatic Voter Registration Signed Into Law!
In the past two years, we have seen the state pass a number of critical, pro-democracy reforms, the most recent of which is Automatic Voter Registration. Under Automatic Voter Registration, eligible citizens who interact with government agencies are automatically registered to vote, unless they decline. This increases the number of voters who can participate in the electoral process, and ensures voting rolls are more accurate. In other states where this reform has been implemented, this process has saved money.
We applaud Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and Speaker Heastie for their leadership, Senator Gianaris and Assembly Member Walker for introducing this legislation, and Governor Cuomo for signing this important bill.
Looking Ahead to 2021
Citizens Union has been spending December meeting with partner organizations and legislators to effectively plan for the 2021 legislative session. Working off the momentum of the 2020 election, we want to make sure we are in the best position to continue the election reform agenda of the last two years. CU’s own Rachel Bloom also facilitated the legislative planning meeting for the statewide Let NY Vote coalition. With over 40 organizations and 70 people participating virtually, it was quite a success.