Jackson Calls for Real Election Reform

voting-booth.jpgSaying New York State’s three separate primaries lower voter participation, waste over $50 million, contribute to overall voting dysfunction and is a prime example of New York State’s anti-voter laws, Robert Jackson today released a five-point election reform agenda to increase voter participation and bring professional management. He noted that tomorrow Maryland and Pennsylvania will combine their Presidential, Federal, legislative and local primaries on one day.  

Robert Jackson Calls for Real Election Reform To Increase Voter Participation and Efficiency

  • Says NYS has some of the worst laws in the country and an overall anti-voter attitude
  • Blasts Three Separate 2016 Primaries
  • Says voting issues far deeper than management concerns

Saying New York State’s three separate primaries lower voter participation, waste over $50 million, contribute to overall voting dysfunction and is a prime example of New York State’s anti-voter laws, Robert Jackson today released a five-point election reform agenda to increase voter participation and bring professional management. He noted that tomorrow Maryland and Pennsylvania will combine their Presidential, Federal, legislative and local primaries on one day.  

“Last week’s Presidential primary highlights some potential serious Board of Elections problems,” said former City Councilmember Robert Jackson.  “However, the real problem goes far deeper. The fact is that New York has some of the worst laws in the country and an overall anti-voter attitude.

“It’s time state leaders put aside their self-serving political agendas, recognize today’s lifestyle realities and make it easier for every citizen to vote. While many here are quick and correct to blast other States passing voter ID laws that make it more difficult for voters to cast a ballot, not enough is being said or done about New York’s laws that suppress our vote and are some of the worst in the country. We need immediately to enact voter friendly policies and join States that have instituted early voting and other reforms that encourage voter participation.

“The failure of State Senators to consolidate the federal and state primaries for their own political benefit and so that they can run for two offices simultaneously not only wasted millions of dollars but also was an insult to all voters. It’s time for politicians to realize elections shouldn’t be designed to make it easier for themselves, but rather easier for voters to participate.”

Jackson’s plan includes:

  • Establishing early voting and no-excuse absentee voting in New York State. Two thirds of the states now offer some sort of early voting in which voters may visit an official site and cast a vote in person days or weeks before Election Day without offering an excuse for not being able to vote on the officially designated day.

  • Consolidating the state and federal primary to the third week in June. Having separate primaries is of no benefit to voters, increases confusion, decreases voting and wastes $50 million. Furthermore the September primary date, coming right after Labor Day travel, the first day of school turmoil, often the celebration of the beginning of the Jewish New Year and in 2010 the end of Ramadan, and right around the 9/11 remembrances is a particularly bad time for an election.

  • Lowering signature requirements and utilizing less burdensome witness signature requirements to encourage greater competition and discourage nuisance legal challenges. While there should be some requirement to get on ballot, it shouldn’t be a legal labyrinth that only benefits election lawyers and political machines.

  • Allowing for Election Day Voter Registration. Fifteen states now have this reform that increases voter turnout and eliminates arbitrary deadlines that cut off registration just when voters are engaged.

  • Replace existing election governance boards with professional administration and eliminate the current system of bipartisan duplication.  

Jackson concluded, “New York State should be the capital of democracy. And we can, if Albany gets beyond its old time politics and shows a real commitment to make our system the best in the country by increasing the opportunity for all New Yorkers to vote and making our voting the easiest, friendliest and accountable anywhere."

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  • commented 2016-07-30 15:13:47 -0400
    Talk about the government being anti-voter: Up until a few years ago I could vote right next door at 108 Cooper Street. But subsequently, the voting area was cut right in the middle of the block. So while I am awakened at 5am by the voting machines being wheeled into 108 Cooper Street, I can no longer vote there. I live right next door to the polling site at 100 Cooper Street and I now have to walk several blocks south of here if I want to vote. Who made the decision to cut the voting district right in the middle of my block?!? Seems like the decision-makers want to discourage people from voting. I continue to vote but now it’s an aggravation.

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