Voting is a core element of civic engagement and an important way for women to participate and advocate for themselves and their communities. WCC aims to make democracy more accessible; increase civic engagement for New Yorkers; and ensure appropriate health and safety measures are in place.
WCC focuses on reforms in three key categories that will enable greater participation in New York’s civic processes:
During the 2016 presidential elections, New York ranked 47th out of 50 states in voter registration. Changes must be made to simplify the registration process so it does not impede voting. Some policies to streamline voter registration include same-day voter registration, party enrollment flexibility, and automatic voter registration (which was just passed in the legislature). These measures will help ensure New Yorkers can register to vote with ease, which increases civic engagement in a state with notoriously low voter participation.
New York was ranked 41st out of the 50 states in voter turnout during the 2016 presidential election. Vote-By-Mail provides a safe and easy way to vote in elections. New York State made it easier to apply for an absentee ballot for the 2020 primary elections, but it needs a constitutional amendment to create a stronger and more robust infrastructure. Vote-by-mail can also make voting easier for individuals without the means or time to visit a polling station thereby expanding participation for populations excluded by the existing system.
WCC advocates for the protection of voting rights for New Yorkers and the expansion of those rights to others. We continue our work to advocate for noncitizen municipal voting, as part of the Our City, Our Vote campaign, so that immigrants living legally in the city will be able to vote in local city elections. In addition, progress is needed to ensure voting rights for individuals on parole. While Governor Cuomo announced that he would be using his Executive privileges to reinstate the right to vote for individuals on parole, the New York State legislature must codify such reform. WCC supports the removal of barriers that prevent New Yorkers from voting.