Antidote to Alleged Voter Suppression: Still Time to Register in NY
NEW YORK – New Yorkers may love to talk politics, but they have a poor track record when it comes to actually casting a ballot. In the 2010 mid-term elections, New York ranked 50th out of the 50 states for turning out voters on Election Day, according to Daniel Altschuler, coordinator for the Long Island Civic Engagement Table.
“Voter participation in our state is notoriously low – among the lowest in the country. What that means is that there are hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers every year – and we work on Long Island where it’s particularly true – who are not heard at the ballot box.”
Altschuler says his group is concerned because politicians tend to be less responsive to people’s needs when they do not vote. The good news is that New Yorkers still have 29 days to register so they will be eligible to vote on Election Day.
Altshuler says people can register to vote at the offices of many nonprofits, such as the Long Island Civic Engagement Table, or at their county or city Board of Election office. If they have a state ID, they can now also register online at the state board of elections website. The deadline to register is Wednesday, Oct. 12.
New York is not like some states that allow voters to register on Election Day, but at the same time, Altschuler says, the state has also steered clear of some of the harsh new voter identification rules that critics say amount to voter suppression.
“People in communities of color are particularly aware of this threat to voting rights in this country. The silver lining is we hope this will galvanize people, so we are reminding them of just how important it is to cast their ballot.”
The group’s office is located at 1090 Suffolk Ave., Brentwood, for those who want to register to vote at that location. More information is available at www.licivicengagement.org. Online registration may be done at www.elections.ny.gov.