Rally for Early Voting in NY State today at Foley Square

At least 100 demonstrators turned out today at Foley Square NYC in bright sun and cold temperatures to rally for at least 14 days of early voting. New York state is one of 11 states who does not participate.

The League of Women Voters came out today among the 100 or so demonstrators rallying for early voting in NY state.

Kathy Kaufman told me why she was out today in support of early voting, “Voting is foundational to our Democracy and the more votes we have the better, stronger and more progressive our Government will be”. In response to my question of how she felt about our current one weekday voting we have now Kathy said, “Some people have an impediment to voting and the more barriers we can break down the better”.

 

 to support early voting rights becasue voting is central to our Democracy From the event’s facebook page,, https://www.facebook.com/events/909019905934735/

Elise Nakhnikian of Common Cause in the center told me “It’s really about fairness in voting and making voting accessible. There are many people who have more than one job these days, or maybe they’re taking care of an aging parent, or maybe they’re in school. If yo have early voting it just makes it possible for more people to vote. WHY WOULD WE NOT WANT MORE PEOPLE TO VOTE?” They should want people to vote, women couldn’t vote til the beginning of the last century, black people couldn’t vote a little before that. There have been a lot of road blocks to voting even though we like to think of ourselves as being an open Democracy, there’s been a fight for that”. “Not allowing x felons to vote in so many states ends up disenfranchising mostly black and poor people”.

 

No one should have to choose between their job, their personal responsibilities and their vote. It’s time for Albany to hear us loud & clear: 2018 is the year NY gets Early Voting!

With money pay for early voting included in the Governor and Assembly budgets, we’ve never been closer to joining the 37 other states that have Early Voting.

But now we need to convince our State Senators to accept the money and include Early Voting in the final state budget. Negotiations are going on throughout March behind closed doors in Albany, so they need to hear from us loud and clear!

We need every concerned New Yorker to come out and join us to be sure our leaders get the message that we expect them to keep money for Early Voting in the budget, and Let NY Vote!

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Speakers include:

Stanely Fritz, Citizen Action (Emcee)
Gale Brewer, Manhattan Borough President
Minister Kirsten John Foy, National Action Network
Letitia James,Public Advocate
Brian Kavanagh, State Senator
Carolyn B. Maloney, Congresswoman NY-12
Eric Schneiderman, Attorney General
Ricky Silver, Empire State Indvisible
Mazeda Uddin, South Asian Fund For Education, Scholarship & Training
L. Joy Williams, Brooklyn NAACP
Pastor Zac, Faith in NY

…and directly impacted voters sharing their stories
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The rally is co-sponsored by members of the Let NY Vote coalition, which includes over thirty organizations, nonprofits, and labor unions, including Common Cause/NY, Public Citizen, New York State United Teachers, SEIU 32BJ, RWDSU, CWA District 1, as well as the statewide NAACP and the National Action Network, grassroots organizations, faith groups, civil liberties, reproductive and immigrant rights, criminal justice and re-entry groups, New American, and the LGBTQ community. A full list is available at letnyvote.org.

L. Joy Williams, Brooklyn NAACP, “This is not a new fight, we have been pushing this issue to expand voter registration, we’ve been pushing the issue for early voting. We’re going to Albany tomorrow to lobby the Assembly members to make sure that we don’t have 8 days of early voting, not 12 days of early voting but, to make sure that we have at least 14 days of early voting in NY state”.

 Stanely Fritz of Citizen Action, the emcee of the event, told the crowd that Governor Cuomo put $7.1 million in the budget for early voting. “Unfortunately the NY state Senate has not”, crowd booing. Facebook livestream, https://www.facebook.com/AprilWatters4/videos/10215159571533608/

NY state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman https://ag.ny.gov/ “There is No Right more important than the right to vote”, Schneiderman began his talk, “and impeding the right to vote is not only undemocratic it’s unAmerican”. Schneiderman then gave a history lesson about the site of Foley Square stating that it was “the site of 3 different British prisons where they locked up advocates for democracy in the time around the Revolutionary war”. Near minute 7  https://www.facebook.com/AprilWatters4/videos/10215159571533608/

Stanely Fritz, Citizen Action “NY State has progressive policies in the year 2018 but, has voter laws stuck in the 1800’s”. “WE NEED CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM FOR NY STATE”.

Andrea Bundy who has been working at JFK airport for 5 years and who has been impacted by draconian voting “laws” stated, “As a single mom I have to work 12 hours a day, 6 days a week to be able to support my young daughter”. minute 10 https://www.facebook.com/AprilWatters4/videos/10215159571533608/

  Comptroller Scott Stringer, “It’s a question of whether our democracy will survive. #1, We have to say to IDC members you’re not Democrats you are Republicans and we know it and we’re going to change things”. “I HAVE HAD ENOUGH”. “#2, 20 years ago I introduced the first same-day voter registration bill. They told me it would take years to get it done. It’s still stranded in the Republican Senate, 20 years ago I introduced that bill. That has to change”.

Livestream for Scott Stringer,, https://www.facebook.com/events/909019905934735/?active_tab=discussion

  

  NY State Senator Brian Kavanagh 

Livestream min 3;11 https://www.facebook.com/AprilWatters4/videos/10215159723817415/

 

Carolyn B. Maloney, Congresswoman NY-12 

Gale Brewer, Manhattan Borough President 

 

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