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Gotham Gazette Reports on City Council Resolutions in Support of 'No-Excuse' Absentee Voting and Kavanagh's Voter Empowerment Act

Gotham Gazette

May 03, 2016

Hearing Advances Reforms to City Campaign Finance System

By Samar Khurshid

***EXCERPT***

The hearing also saw consideration of two resolutions, sponsored by Kallos, calling on the state Legislature to pass the Voter Empowerment Act (VEA) and a constitutional amendment that would establish no-excuse absentee voting in the state. The VEA is a joint effort by State Senator Michael Gianaris and Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh, who was at the hearing. The omnibus bill would provide automatic voter registration and online registration, and change the state’s deadlines for people to register and choose their party enrollment.   

When Kallos asked what the city could do to help push these bills in Albany, Kavanagh appealed to Council members to drum up public support and to urge their Assembly member to join his effort before the end of the legislative session in Albany on June 16. The CFB’s voter outreach arm, NYC Votes, is helping to lead a lobbying coalition to Albany on Tuesday in support of the VEA.

“Hope springs eternal,” said Kavanagh, pointing out the extra attention these issues have received because of the primary election day debacle. “What we need candidly is public pressure,” he added.

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