New York Votes Act proposed by AG Schneiderman aims to simplify democratic process

He’s giving the booth a boost.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman introduced a bill Wednesday that would simplify the state’s voting process with automatic voter registration and early voting.

Schneiderman said the legislation, the New York Votes Act, follows a December report that highlighted concerns from the 2016 presidential primary and election.

“Any law that makes it easier to vote is a good law; any law that makes it harder to vote is a bad law,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “New York has long been a bastion of democracy, but our state’s current system of registration and voting is an affront to that legacy.”

The legislation would make it so people can automatically register to vote if they choose when they file paperwork with certain state or local agencies, like a change of address or applying for services. The agency would then submit the information to the state’s Board of Elections.

The bill would also introduce same-day registration. For the November 2016 presidential election, voters needed to register by Oct. 14, according to the BOE.

The bill also calls for early voting, starting two weeks before an election. The service is available in many other states across the nation.

The effort has drawn support from several elected officials, including Mayor Bill de Blasio, who have advocated for such measures in the past.

“Voting ease and accessibility is critical to our democracy,” de Blasio said in a statement on Wednesday. “Unfortunately, in New York State, we fall behind half the country because of our outdated practices. Attorney General Schneiderman’s New York Votes Act will help bring New York up to speed and ensure New Yorkers statewide aren’t turned away from casting their ballots as a result of senseless roadblocks.”

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