On July 23, 2020, the New York State Legislature passed automatic voter registration (AVR), a monumental achievement that will begin to address the state’s consistently low voter participation and turnout.
AVR lowers the barrier to participation in our democracy by registering eligible voters when they visit government offices like the Department of Health, the Department of Labor, the DMV, the New York City Housing Authority, and social services. This alone will add over 1.1 million new voters to the rolls in New York. It’s an important step forward in diversifying the state’s electorate and elevating the voices of working families, as well as Black and Brown New Yorkers.
Since January 2019, Stand Up America has been one of the loudest voices calling for voting rights reform in New York. Our New York community demanded action to repair the state’s broken political system, flooding Albany with thousands of phone calls, tweets, emails, and other grassroots actions.
Thanks to this activism, Albany listened. New York is now the 18th state to pass automatic voter registration, joining a nationwide movement to modernize our voting systems and protect the fundamental right of every eligible American to have their vote counted.
This is a victory not only for New York, but for the nationwide movement to strengthen our democracy. Passing reforms like automatic voter registration at the state level is how we will build momentum for badly-needed democracy reform at the federal level. We’ve seen in movement after movement throughout American history — from minimum wage to marriage equality — that states pave the way for national and federal progress.