New York’s voter protection hotline received 10 times more calls during the Empire State’s primary than any previous election, according to a report New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman released this week. In response to the highly flawed election, he vowed to seek sweeping changes to how the state votes in the future.
WhoWhatWhy had predicted that the New York primary would face a multitude of problems and it turned out to be just as much of a mess as we expected.
“The voting issues we uncovered during the April primary were widespread, systemic and unacceptable,” said Schneiderman.
Most of the calls the hotline received were about the state’s confusing voter registration rules, laws and procedures. New York has outrageously early deadlines for people to switch parties and still be allowed to vote in a primary. It also has a very early deadline for first-time voters.
Reduced poll hours in some counties and confusion about polling locations that had been moved without notice also angered voters.
In response to the many problems, Schneiderman pledged to drastically change the way New York votes. The most important part of these reforms would be an automatic registration of eligible voters and an early-voting process.
“The right to vote is the right that protects all other rights. New York must become a national leader by protecting and expanding voting rights throughout the state,” Schneiderman said.
The attorney general also wants to allow same-day registration as well as online voter registration.
That would put New York on a very different path than many GOP-controlled states, which are trying to make it more difficult for minorities to vote.