Syracuse, New York, August 1, 2018 -
Independent candidate for governor Stephanie Miner called for reforms to remove barriers to voting and make government more accountable to the electorate.
To truly restore trust in government, we have to enact reforms. Miner pledges to:
- Demand non-partisan redistricting in New York State. Gerrymandering protects incumbents. This leads to uncontested races, making lawmakers unaccountable to citizens. Drawing districts to protect political parties and politicians inevitably disenfranchises groups of voters. We need an independent redistricting commission. Lawmakers and the governor should not be allowed to control this process.
- Institute statewide early voting. Early voting makes it easier for as many people as possible to cast ballots. If a voter has anything unexpected come up, they can easily vote in advance. Early voting is also simply more convenient for many citizens.
- Reduce restrictions on absentee ballots and allow vote by mail. No excuse absentee voting removes a major barrier to voting by mail in New York. Currently, voters have to mail an application to their local elections board. They must have an approved excuse, such as an illness or disability or travel commitment. Voters who want to vote by absentee ballot should be able to do so without having to provide a reason.
- Allow same-day registration. There is evidence that same-day registration boosts turnout. There are ways to ensure election security, while providing an opportunity for the maximum number of people to have their voices heard in elections. Seventeen states and the District of Columbia allow same-day registration.
New York is ranked 48th in the nation when it comes to voter participation.
“Both parties created these barriers and the need for bottom-up change,” Miner said. “By enacting these reforms, we can improve government and democracy.”