THANK YOU to everyone who was able to join us at March’s monthly meeting! We discussed the City Council Charter Commission’s hearing on Ranked Choice Voting (thank you David and Christina!) and the NYC Board of Elections and their plans for implementing Early Voting in NYC (more on both below).
VOTING RIGHTS NEWS! The Senate and Assembly one-house budgets both included funding for some of the new voting reforms AND another reform priority has been passed by the legislature:
- The Voter Friendly Ballot Act (A02682A/S02300A) passed in both the Senate and Assembly. Once it becomes law, NY ballots can be redesigned to be less confusing. Takes effect August 1, 2019.
- Both the Senate and Assembly included funding in their budgets for Early Voting ($10 million and $7 million, respectively), and the Assembly inlcuded $27 million for E Pollbooks.
Now the budget negotiations begin. We’ll be keeping our ears to the ground along with our partners at Let NY Vote and will keep you posted as we learn more. STAY TUNED!
RANKED CHOICE VOTING — The City Council Charter Commission held it’s public hearing on February 25 (you can watch it here, see the first 30 minutes). Hearings open for public comment are expected to begin the end of April and run through May and will be held in each borough. It will be important for people to speak at each public comment hearing in support of RCV. Once we have details on where and when the meetings will be held, we’ll let everyone know. (Want to learn more about RCV? Watch this video.)
EARLY VOTING & NYC BOE — Thank you to Kate Doran of League of Women Voters NYC for talking with us last night about the BOE’s plan to implement Early Voting in NYC. Will Brooklyn have 7 Early Voting polling sites (the minimum as required by the new law) or 32 (based on Brooklyn registered voters)? It’s up to the BOE to decide, but we need to ask questions and make noise! On Friday, March 15th there will be a public meeting of the NYC BOE where we’ll have an opportunity to ask questions and make it clear we and others are watching. Please join us Friday if you can:
- Friday, March 15 @ 1 pm
- 42 Broadway, NYC, 6th floor
Email email@example.com if you plan to attend so we can coordinate.
BVA is increasing our advocacy efforts focused on the Board of Elections and reforms that are needed. If you want to be a part of the planning around the BOE and begin to effect change, click here to join our Slack channel. Don’t have slack but want to get involved? Email us.
SAVE THE DATE(S)!
- In lieu of our April monthly meeting, we will hold a panel discussion on Wednesday, April 17 in the evening at Brooklyn Law School on Rights Restoration for People on Parole. This forum will focus on policy, history and personal stories of disenfranchisement. If you want to get involved with planning for this event, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Let NY Vote is having a panel discussion Thursday, March 21, at Brooklyn Law School on The New York Voting Rights Agenda: The Challenges Ahead. Hope you can attend!