The de Blasio Administration and DemocracyNYC today announced the kickoff of a series of citywide events this week to celebrate National Voter Registration Day, a national day of action tomorrow, Tuesday, September 24th, 2019.
The City’s week of action will start this evening with a voter registration drive at the New York Mets stadium in Queens where DemocracyNYC and the Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit will be registering New Yorkers at the Met-Willets Point subway station before tonight’s game, and inside Citi Field during the game.
“Voting is the great equalizer – giving each one of us a voice and a chance to create the change we want to see,” said Mayor de Blasio. “I encourage all New Yorkers to participate this week in National Voter Registration Day. Together we can build a stronger democracy.”
“Our future depends on engaging as many people as possible in the democratic process,” said J. Phillip Thompson, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives. “National Voter Registration Day is an important opportunity to engage those who have yet to participate in our democracy, and ensure they have the tools and resources they need to make their voices heard.”
“Registering to vote is one of the first steps you can take to make your voice heard in our democracy, and NVRD is a great opportunity to do just that,” said Chief Democracy Officer Rini Fonseca-Sabune “Whether at the Mets game, on campus or at a government office, take a moment to register, update your registration or help your friends and family take this important step. For the first time in New York’s history, early voting will begin on October 26 and be available for nine days before Election Day. Register today and vote early!” said Rini Fonseca-Sabune Chief Democracy Officer, DemocracyNYC.
Over 12 city agencies will be hosting voter registration drives this week at different locations citywide, available here. Tomorrow, over 24 Human Resources Administration (HRA) Job and SNAP Centers will be running voter registration drives in the five boroughs, available here.
All IDNYC Centers citywide will be providing voter registration materials for those signing up for or renewing their IDNYC, beginning Thursday, September 26.
The City University of New York is joining the voting registration drive this week at 20 of their CUNY campuses in the five boroughs. The efforts on CUNY campuses will include a Wheel of Fortune-style game show on “Why you should vote,” “Why I Vote” campaigns, and other various efforts to engage students to register to vote.
“All New Yorkers play a critical role in our City’s future,” said Bitta Mostofi, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. “I am thrilled that IDNYC centers across the City will provide voter registration information, and I thank DemocracyNYC and other partners for working to ensure that all New Yorkers are able to participate in our civic life.”
“The strength of our democracy directly depends on our ability to get out the vote and cast a ballot,” said Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks. “With New York values under attack from Washington and nationwide challenges demanding solutions, it’s more important than ever before that we continue to fight back—through policy and at the polls. We’re proud of this Administration’s and our agency’s commitment to ensuring New Yorkers are aware, engaged, and energized.”
“The ability to exercise the right to vote is of paramount importance for anyone to feel fully invested in his or her local community,” said Probation Commissioner Ana M. Bermúdez Esq. “The New York City Department of Probation is proud to partner with DemocracyNYC for National Voter Registration Day to help register justice-involved people and other members of all NYC communities at our Neighborhood Opportunity Networks (NeONs) and offices across all five boroughs.”
“There are nearly one million New Yorkers who have self-disclosed that they have a disability” said Victor Calise, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities. “As 11% of the population, they are the largest minority in our great city and should have the political clout to match. It is paramount that every eligible person with a disability is registered to vote and has a say in the local, state, and federal policies that impact their daily lives. MOPD is proud to be a part of this voter registration initiative and looks forward to continuing to work with our agency partners to ensure that the needs of the disability community are included in all of the City’s programs and services.”
“For two hours tonight, volunteers will register residents to vote, and that action is civic engagement defined,” said Interim NYC Chief Service Officer, Dabash Negash, “Thank you to all those volunteering. Your commitment to securing the future of our democracy will impact New York City residents and strengthen communities across the city.”
“Exercising your right to vote is a fundamental part of our democracy, and New York has taken continued steps to make it easier for voters to cast their ballots. This National Voter Registration Day is a great opportunity for getting more New Yorkers registered, and inform them about the coming elections and new early voting. I thank Mayor de Blasio and Democracy NYC for their proactive outreach ahead of the October voter registration deadline,” said Congressman Gregory Meeks.
“Tuesday is National Voter Registration Day, and it is more critical than ever that we continue to ensure all voters can participate in our democratic process. Regardless of an individual’s gender, race, age or economic background, our country is stronger when every voter is registered and can fully participate on Election Day,” said Congressman Adriano Espaillat.
“According to the New York City Campaign Finance Board, more than 780,000 New Yorkers who were eligible to vote did not register in time for the 2018 midterm elections. We can change that this year. Thanks to Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Senator Zellnor Myrie, Governor Cuomo and my colleagues in the legislature, New York now has more progressive elections law than ever before. This National Voter Registration Day, I encourage every eligible New Yorker to go out and get registered so you can make your voice heard,” said State Senator Brad Hoylman.
“Voting is not just a fundamental right, it is the responsibility of every citizen in a democracy. If you don’t vote, you are allowing someone else to make critical decisions for you about every aspect of your daily life. This year’s general election includes important questions about Charter revisions in New York City. I urge everyone to make sure they and their friends and family are registered to vote,” said State Senator Liz Krueger.
“Voting is the lifeblood of our democracy. The more we grow and diversify the voices heard at the ballot box, the more our government will work for and with our communities. Tomorrow’s city-wide events for National Voter Registration Day are important parts of the larger effort to increase civic engagement that we must commit to every day,” said State Senator Luis R. Sepulveda.
“We must always work to ensure more New Yorkers get on the voter rolls and turn out to vote in our elections. This is especially important for those who have been historically underrepresented in our electoral systems such as young people, people with low-incomes, and people of color. We want our electorate to look like our City. I commend the Mayor for this effort to get more New Yorkers registered to vote and look forward to increasing voter registration all across New York,” said Assembly Member Harvey Epstein.
“If you don’t vote, you can’t complain,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “And registering is the first step on the way to the ballot box. The city is making it easy to take that first step with these events,” said Manhattan Borough President Gail Brewer.
“Exercising the right to vote is the most sacred civic duty in a democracy. And while voter turnout ticked up during the last midterm election from previous midterm years, too many New Yorkers are still not participating in the electoral process, for a variety of reasons. The voter registration drives taking place on Tuesday across Brooklyn are good for our city’s civic culture, and I look forward to continuing the partnership with DemocracyNYC to ensure all New Yorkers are represented in the political process,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams.
“Voter participation here in New York and across the country has never been more important. Every New Yorker who is eligible to vote should be encouraged to make their voice heard at the ballot box, and we should all be spreading the word that the deadline to register for this fall’s General Election is just days away. I thank the City for its sustained efforts to support and expand democratic engagement across the five boroughs,” said Council Member Helen Rosenthal.
“Our democracy works best when we hear everyone’s voices, and I applaud the efforts to educate and inform the public in advance of the deadline for voting in the general election,” said Councilman I. Daneek Miller, Co-Chair of the Black, Latino/a, and Asian Caucus. We are proud that Southeast Queens in particular consistently ranks among the highest in voter turnout in New York State. With the introduction of early voting this year, we are looking forward to working with our colleagues and others for even greater turnout,” said Council Member Daneek Miller.
“It has never been this easy or important to be a registered voter,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “It is especially good to see both DemocracyNYC and the City’s Public Engagement Unit out on National Voter Registration Day working with New Yorkers to get them involved. Thank you to Mayor de Blasio for making voter registration a priority in New York City and for ensuring that New Yorkers have ample opportunities to registers and to be a part of our democracy,” said Council Member Ben Kallos.
“This is an exciting time to get registered to vote. Early voting will start on October 26, which means voting will be much more convenient than it has ever been in New York. With the 2020 race in full swing, there is no better time for city voters to make sure they are on the rolls or update their voting information than on National Voter Registration Day,” said Eric Friedman, Assistant Executive Director for Public Affairs at the New York City Campaign Finance Board.
“National Voter Registration Day celebrates the cornerstone of our democracy: that power is derived from the people. Students we work with are excited to celebrate today by registering thousands of voters on college campuses and reminding people how vital they are to the functioning of our democracy,” said Megan Ahearn, NYPIRG Program Director.
“This is a great opportunity for NYC to engage New Yorkers and encourage them register to vote or update their records ahead of significant elections for the City and the trajectory of our country. We look forward to helping inform voters that they can now Vote Early (from Saturday, Oct. 26 – Sunday, Nov. 3) at an assigned location, in addition to Election Day hours at the usual poll sites,” said Jarret Berg, Co-Founder of VoteEarlyNY.
“In less than six weeks, New Yorkers can head to the polls early for the first time. Common Cause/NY urges all eligible New Yorkers to make sure they’re registered at their current address with the correct party and head to the ballot box. Don’t sit any election out!” said Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause New York.
“A healthy democracy needs an informed and engaged populace, which is why we’re thrilled to see New York City making strides to ensure that all eligible New Yorkers are registered to vote. By bringing voter registration directly into people’s neighborhoods through a week-long series of events, we can help make sure all New Yorkers have an opportunity to have their voices heard in the city-wide elections in the fall and into the future,” said Steven Choi, Executive Director, New York Immigration Coalition.
“For our government to be truly inclusive and accountable, it’s imperative that New Yorkers make their voices heard at the ballot box. We encourage everyone to take advantage of these opportunities to register to vote on National Voter Registration Day,” said Perry Grossman, Senior Staff Attorney, Voting Rights Project, New York Civil Liberties Union.
“As always, we at the Let NY Vote coalition are looking beyond personal responsibility and recognizing systemic barriers that keep citizens from participating in our democratic process. As we celebrate National Voter Registration Day across New York State, we want to remind voters that because New York is a closed primary state, we can’t exercise our right to vote in a primary unless we are registered in that party. So voters should use this holiday to re-register in a party if they want to have a say in next year’s presidential race. What does that mean for those volunteers registering voters across New York State on this holiday? Don’t only ask people “are you registered to vote”, also ask them “are you registered to vote in a party?” said Shabd Simon-Alexander, Organizing Director, Let NY Vote.
“People with disabilities are more likely to be living in poverty, unable to afford housing, food and other necessities. Our employment rate is only 29 percent. Voting is an essential tool for changing the way that we live. Our community has worked hard to remove barriers to voting so that we can vote on the future we want to see. Every vote counts,” said Susan Dooha, Executive Director of Center for Independence of the Disabled, NY (CIDNY).
“Often individuals with disabilities are overlooked when it comes to voting,” said Brett Eisenberg, Executive Director at the Bronx Independent Living Services. “BILS is pleased that extra efforts are being made to ensure all individuals that can vote get registered including individuals with disabilities. Voting is a fundamental right and we want to make sure our voices are heard. BILS will continue working with the city on ensuring that individuals with disabilities are included in all aspects of civic engagement.”
Every year New Yorkers find themselves unable to vote because they miss a registration deadline, don’t update their registration, or are not sure how to register. DemocracyNYC and our partners are committed to making sure New Yorkers are ready to vote in this fall’s general election, which will include a citywide race for Public Advocate, Queens District Attorney, Council District 45 in Brooklyn, and five ballot referendums to amend the City Charter.
The deadline to register in order to vote in the upcoming General Election is October 11th. For the first time in New York history, voters will have the opportunity to vote early from October 26 – November 3, as well as on Election Day, November 5, 2019.