Voter registration for New York State ends today

Local News

ALBANY, NY – As the last day to register to vote in the General Election winds down, some voting advocacy groups say new registrations may be down this year compared to the last Presidential Election.

NewsChannel 34’s Corina Cappabianca has more on why that could be the case.

((Sarah Goff, Common Cause New York Deputy Director))
Anecdotally, and this should probably be no surprise to anyone, because we are still reliant on a paper-based voter registration system, the numbers are way down. Folks typically will register at their DMV, or any city or state-based agency. And… usually, like even your local post office frequently will have voter registration forms lying around.

But, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many New Yorkers haven’t been going about their daily lives as normal.

Currently the only way to register to vote online is through the state’s DMV website if you have a valid state issued ID.

Jennifer Wilson with the League of Women Voters of New York State says that may have an impact on some areas of the state more than others.

((JenniferWilson, NYS League of Women Voters Deputy Director))
My fear is that it is down in New York City, more so than Upstate, I remember, we had a hearing back in July, and we were hearing that it was down like 50%, where we were from the last presidential election. So I definitely think thatpeople who live in the city, they typically don’t have a DMV license because they’re not driving.

The pandemic has also made it more difficult to hold voter registration drives.

((Jennifer Wilson, NYS League of Women Voters Deputy Director))
We’ve been really limited since we hadn’t been able to any in person registration starting from March. We’ve started to use some in-person, in June and July we started to do some more in person, although now we’re kind of like getting back to not doing as many.

A spokesperson with the New York State Board of Elections did not have any updates to provide today on registration numbers.

Wilson says poll worker recruitment does seem to be going well.

((Jennifer Wilson, NYS League of Women Voters Deputy Director))
I think it’s due in no small part to the fact that they actually the secretary of elections and county boards did a recruiting effort this year, we don’t often see them make a concerted recruiting effort. I’ve heard from a lot of young people that they’re going to be poll workers for the first time this year. And that’s super exciting.

If you are already registered to vote in New York State, but need to update your address, you may do so until October 14th.

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