Senate Majority Encourages Voter Registration Amongst Youth Voters From Harlem To Hollis

March 11, 2020

The Senate Majority today passed the School Voter Registration Access Program.

This bill, S.5073A, sponsored by Senator Shelley Mayer, Chair of the Education Committee, will help address low youth voter registration and participation rates by engaging students and educating them on their civic duty. Under the School Voter Registration Access Program, schools serving students in Grades 10, 11, and 12, are to provide eligible students with voter registration and pre-registration opportunities and help educate them on the voting process.

“A vibrant democracy must encourage greater participation in the electoral process,” Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said. “This legislation builds on the Senate Majority’s efforts to increase voter access and empower more New Yorkers. Schools help educate the next generation, and part of that responsibility is to inspire them to exercise their Constitutional right to vote. I applaud Senator Shelley Mayer, Chair of the Education Committee, for sponsoring this legislation and leading efforts to support New York students.”

Chair of the Senate Education Committee, Senator Shelley Mayer, said, “Providing young people the opportunities to register and pre-register to vote strengthens our democracy and improves voter participation in New York State. Schools are uniquely situated to ensure that all students have the opportunity to register to vote and to instill in young people the notion that their voice matters in the political process. We must do more to engage young people and assure them that their voices are needed to shape society. Thank you to my colleagues for supporting the School Voter Registration Access Program.”

Chair of the Senate Committee on Elections, Senator Zellnor Myrie, said, “As we face the most important election of our lifetimes, we need to use every tool at our disposal to make everyone’s voice heard. We know that giving our youth a path to participate in a democracy early helps cement voting as a lifelong habit, and that’s what this bill will do.”

This bill, S.5073A, outlines the following:

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  • Establishes the School Voter Registration Access Program for schools in New York State serving grades ten, eleven, and twelve.
  • All schools must provide access to registration and pre-registration to vote in schools for their eligible students.

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