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Letter: New York should adopt Vote by Mail program

New York should adopt Vote by Mail program

While I commend Gov. Andrew Cuomo for proposing election law changes allowing early voting and registering right up to Election Day, he should have gone all the way to catch up to Oregon, Colorado, Washington, California, and even West Virginia. Those states and others automatically register their citizens to vote when they apply for, or renew, a driver’s license. You’re automatically registered unless you opt-out.

Once you’re registered, you are more likely to vote – not a complicated equation. All voters in Oregon, Colorado and Washington and 50 percent of California’s 12 million voters voted by mail in the last election. And many other states have Vote by Mail via easily obtained absentee ballots.

The most surefire way to increase participation in our democracy is to expand Vote by Mail. Vote by Mail states regularly show an increase of over 20 percent of voters actually voting. Isn’t that what we want instead of our embarrassingly low turnouts?

Republicans in the State Senate routinely bury election law reform in committee and refuse to allow it on the Senate floor where they can be accountable for their vote. They use phony excuses about privacy or fraud, although Vote by Mail has proven to be safer and more secure than polling place voting. They don’t produce any more proof to back that claim than their current president does when he alleges voter fraud. Contact your state senator and demand support for the governor’s proposals and more; automatic registration and Vote by Mail.

Robert J. McLennan

Amherst

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