ASTORIA – Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris kicked off Early Voting by being one of the first voters in Queens to cast his ballot. October 26 marked the first day of Early Voting in New York State history, made possible after the new State Senate Democratic Majority passed the historic early voting law in January of this year.
“At a time when voting rights are under assault, we must fight for our democracy because there’s nothing more important than the right to vote,” said Senate Deputy Leader Gianaris. “Our new Senate Majority made voter registration easier and access to the ballot box fairer. I encourage everyone to exercise their right to vote by using the new laws we enacted this year.”
Senator Gianaris’ early voting was cheered by voting access advocates from across New York.
“Early voting is a game-changer for New Yorkers who no longer have to choose between getting to work on time or exercising their democratic rights. We hope every New York voter will join us and vote early,” said Susan Lerner, Executive Director of Common Cause/NY.
“Many New Yorkers have obligations on Election Day, and those realities should not prevent anyone who is eligible from voting,” said Sean Morales-Doyle, senior counsel in the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice. “Thanks to early voting, New York voters will have an additional nine days before Election Day to have their voices be counted in this year’s election.”
“A new generation of voters expects a modern set voting laws. I am proud that New York State is launching Early Voting,” said Saad Amer, Founder of Plus1Vote. “I thank Deputy Leader Gianaris for his work on early voting and election access issues. Young people across the state are looking forward to casting their ballots early this year because of the new Senate majority’s efforts.”
“We fully support the purpose of and the intent behind early voting which provides a greater opportunity for all New Yorkers to make their voices heard at the ballot box,” said Carl Goodman, Executive Director, Museum of the Moving Image, Senator Gianaris’ Early Voting site.
Senator Gianaris sponsored the early voting legislation – authored by Senator Zellnor Myrie – which passed the Senate and was signed into law earlier this year. Initially, only seven sites were planned for Queens until Senator Gianaris pushed the Board of Elections to expand early voting sites. The Board then doubled the number of early voting sites throughout Queens because of Senator Gianaris’ demands. Senator Gianaris will continue pressing the Board of Elections for more poll sites throughout Queens and the City ahead of 2020 elections.
Earlier this month, Senator Gianaris mailed reminders to his constituents encouraging them to vote early and informing them of their poll sites.