New York City Council Header
File #: Res 2023-2013    Version: * Name: Voter Empowerment Act of New York. (A.187-A)
Type: Resolution Status: Filed
Committee: Committee on Governmental Operations
On agenda: 11/14/2013
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: Resolution in support of A.187A, also known as the Voter Empowerment Act of New York, which would streamline and improve the voter registration system in the city of New York.
Sponsors: Gale A. Brewer, Margaret S. Chin, Letitia James, G. Oliver Koppell, Brad S. Lander, Ruben Wills
Council Member Sponsors: 6
Res. No. 2023
 
 
Resolution in support of A.187A, also known as the Voter Empowerment Act of New York, which would streamline and improve the voter registration system in the city of New York.
 
 
By Council Members Brewer, Chin, James, Koppell, Lander and Wills
 
      Whereas, According to the New York  State Governor's Office, New York State ranks 47th in the nation in voter registration, with less than 64% of eligible New Yorkers registered to vote; and
Whereas, The League of Women Voters reported that only 18.4 percent of New Yorkers turned out to vote in the New York City citywide elections of 2009; and
      Whereas, The voter registration system is currently a costly paper-based system that is prone to human error, which could potentially disenfranchise a voter if a mistake is made; and
      Whereas, Modernizing the antiquated New York voter registration process to an electronic system will help increase the amount of voters registering while saving money; and
      Whereas, Other counties that implemented electronic registration systems, such as Maricopa County in Arizona, have saved money on data entry, printing, and mailing costs totaling more than $450,000 in 2008 alone; and
      Whereas, By modernizing the voting registration system, voters will be able to register to vote and change their party affiliation closer to Election Day, have their registration information transferred to the correct county if they move within the state, and access and update their voter registration records online; and
      Whereas, The Brennan Center for Justice has noted that New Yorkers can already bank and pay their taxes online, and should also be allowed to safely and securely access and update their voter registration forms online; and
      
Whereas, In order to increase voter turnout and ease the process of registration, the Voter Empowerment Act would allow certain government agencies to automatically and electronically transfer voter registration information to local election offices, provided that the eligible citizen consents; and
Whereas, In other states, such as Washington and Kansas, where such modernized ways of registration have already been implemented, the number of voters able to register and cast a ballot have doubled through the electronic registration transactions at DMVs; and
Whereas, In a report of the New York City Campaign Finance Board, adults under the age of 30 were found to be less likely to vote than older adults, while a Project Vote study of the 2008 election found that voters age 18 to 29 were both underrepresented in the electorate and less likely to be registered; and
      Whereas, In order to address such disparities in voting amongst the young adult population, the Voter Empowerment Act will permit sixteen and seventeen year-olds to pre-register and allow college students to vote in the community they consider home; and
      Whereas, If a youth considers his or her parental community of primary concern, the student will retain his or her residence for voting purposes, however if the community of the New York college or university in which a student resides is of primary concern to the student, he or she will be permitted to register to vote within this community, thereby potentially increasing participation among young voters; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York supports A.187A, also known as the Voter Empowerment Act of New York, which would streamline and improve the voter registration system in the city of New York.
TH
LS4970
10/24/2013